The night before Christmas, not everyone has a stocking hung by their chimney with care. StuffIn Stockings wants to change that.
Mel Fishman and Amanda Palmer are members of the St. Jacobs Lions Club who need your help making Christmas special for those that may not get anything.
The locally-focused group collects Christmas stockings filled with gifts and treats and gives them to families and individuals in Waterloo Region. Last year, they collected 1,800 stockings.
Fishman says the stocking drive isn’t just about giving Christmas to kids. There are people in all age groups that are looking for a little Christmas magic next month.
“The stockings are given to infants all the way up to seniors. We are looking for everything from bibs and booties, to crayons, to makeup for teenagers, right through to maybe datebooks for seniors,” she said.
“Hats and mitts as well. It is a little bit about getting people what they need, and a little bit about getting them something they can enjoy,” added Palmer.
The StuffIn Stockings program started in 2010 with just over 200 stockings collected. Over the years, the program has grown exponentially. This year, their goal is to gather 2,000 stockings for the people of Waterloo Region. In Woolwich, stockings go to Community Care Concepts, Community Support Connections and Grand River Children and Youth Services. There are also 18 other charities from Cambridge to Waterloo that will be picking up stockings for their clients.
“There is nothing better than knowing that there are over 20 not-for-profit organizations that get things from us, and you know it is going to a good spot, and it is all local,” shared Fishman. “The Lions Club actually delivers the stockings. Each charity comes directly to us and we deliver them personally to the charities after our final stocking stuffing days, which is in the middle of December. Just in time for Christmas.”
Many Christmas donation programs collect for those living in developing countries, or in disaster areas. StuffIn Stockings keeps their organization in the region.
“All of our charities come back every year and it definitely makes a huge difference. Especially, the Salvation Army, I think last year, they had so much need, we couldn’t fill everything they were looking for. It makes a huge impact for them. It would be great if we could meet everyone’s needs this year,” said Fishman. “There are just so many people around us who won’t have anything special for Christmas otherwise. I think the goal in creating the whole thing, was to make sure that there was something for everybody locally, and go from there.”
Palmer says there is something special about living in a community like St. Jacobs and Woolwich Township.
“My family just moved into the area, and it is a community that really does just take care of each other. I love that about the Lions Club and the St. Jacobs area. We come together when people need us and that is important,” she said.
Stockings are already being collected around the region, including a drop-off station near the front desk of the Woolwich Memorial Centre. Stockings can also be dropped off at Block 3 Brewing in St. Jacobs, The Shops at Waterloo Town Square, and any three of the Libro Credit Union locations in Kitchener-Waterloo. Collection spots will be open until Dec. 9.
“I find that not only is it a great family activity for Christmas, but it is also an awesome team building activity for businesses,” said Fishman.
For more information about StuffIn Stockings, visit their website at www.stuffinstockings.ca, or call 519-664-0099. Organizers ask that stockings and stuffers be placed in a closed bag to prevent spills.