A message from Rick W, our “PIT Stop” Coordinator: (*PIT Stop is a weekly hot meal program on Sunday afternoons at KUC, with volunteers from throughout the wider community.)
I usually don’t look forward to winter but to be honest, I do look forward to the PIT Stop Christmas Dinner. This year our big day will be on December 8 and as is tradition, the fabulous Rotary Daybreak Club will be cooking the meal. Last year we served 405 guests. We will be expecting at least that number again in 2019.
Santa always comes to attend and as is another tradition, he makes sure that all of our guests get a useful and meaningful gift bag. Once again, we are asking for your help to make that happen.
Most of you are familiar with our annual list of items needed and it is attached. If you are able to help with any of these, it would be appreciated. If you can suggest additional items that would be nice to add, please let me know. I would like to mention that one of the most impactful groups of people that participate in this annual drive are the students of Aberdeen Elementary School. Not only do they collect bin loads of items for us, but they – the students from every grade – write personalized handmade Christmas Cards that are signed with their note, name and grade. Every bag gets one of these. Then between the Grade 7 and 8 classes, one class helps fill the bags on Saturday and the other class become Santa’s helpers and distribute the bags on Sunday. It’s a very rich and humbling experience.
One of the things that I would like to change up a bit this year, will be to make sure that we get all that we need for some of the harder to get items. There are a few things that we seem to always be short on which I will name here. If a group, club, family or whoever is able to make a commitment to supply an item in multiples of 25, 50, 75, or 100 please let me know that you will be doing that. I will make a spreadsheet to track these pledges and once we have enough, I will let everyone know so that other items can be looked at instead. We would like 400 of each of these items. Some of those items are:
– Long underwear – we mostly need mens as they can be unisex, a variety of all sizes
– Gloves/mitts – again most are unisex and we need the majority to be large if possible
– Wash cloths
– Hand towels
– Hand antiseptic – must be alcohol free, hard to find so if anyone has a good lead??
– Underarm deodorant – mostly mens
– Baby wipes – smaller sizes please so they can fit into the bags nicely, these are for everyone, not just babies
– A really nice small box / bar / package of chocolate that most of our guests would not normally be able to get
– A few thousand pieces of small candies of any nature – left over Halloween?
– I’m not expecting to get 400 gift cards but what I get, I will pass out individually and make sure are placed well
If you are looking to commit to any of these, I might have some ideas of where to go to purchase them – let me know.
Please note, most of the contributions will be done in the same way as previous years. For most people, please continue to bring in the one or two, mixture and variety, same as before, small amounts, of items. It is in this way that we will get most of the items – socks, scarves, razors, soap, etc, etc. Please don’t change that. The above is simply my appeal to get the items that we sometimes fall short on.
We have been pledged 400 cloth bags from Telus this year – thank you Butch – so now it’s all about filling them!
Thank you so much everyone. Please let me know any ideas that you might have to make this an even better program. Rick W. ~ PIT Stop Coordinator
Attached list of hoped for donations (more easily accessible gifts/donations). Click here.