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Souris Lions Club preparing 125 boxes for annual Christmas fundraiser

Volunteer Mariah Laybolt waves to the crowd while on the Souris Lions Club’s float during the Souris Christmas Parade. The parade entry promoted the club’s annual Christmas Box program, which provides the essentials for families and individuals in the community who need assistance during the holidays.
Volunteer Mariah Laybolt waves to the crowd while on the Souris Lions Club’s float during the Souris Christmas Parade. The parade entry promoted the club’s annual Christmas Box program, which provides the essentials for families and individuals in the community who need assistance during the holidays. - Katherine Hunt

Some of the best parts of Christmas can fit inside a box.

The members of the Souris Lions Club are gearing up for the club’s annual Christmas Box program.

The program helps families and individuals in the community who need assistance during the holidays by giving them a box filled with traditional holiday food and gifts.

“It fulfills a need in the community,” said Paul Gallant, media spokesperson for the program which has been running for roughly 30 years.

The Christmas boxes include a turkey and food needed for a full turkey dinner like potatoes, turnips, and carrots.

ood isn’t the only treat in the boxes. Families with children also get a Christmas gift for each child. Club members document the age and gender of the children in a household and find gifts suited for each one.

The club arranges and distributes roughly 125 boxes every year.

The boxes the items go into are donated from an Island potato farmer.

Just before distribution day, club members and volunteers set the boxes up in rows in the basement of the Souris Lions Club and start packing.

“There’s a place where there’s a bunch of potatoes and turnips and carrots and they all go in the boxes and out the door,” said Gallant.

After the boxes are arranged they are distributed to the families by members of the Souris Lions Club.

This year’s boxes will be distributed by Dec. 23.

Gallant said people who have received a box often find ways to show their gratitude.

“There’s a gentleman that wanted a box years ago and he went out west to work and when he came home he passed $50 to Peter and said it was his way of saying thank you,” said Gallant, referencing the program’s chair Peter Boertien.

If a family is in need and would like a box, they can contact the Souris Lions Club before the Dec. 15 deadline at 902-969-3157 or 902-357-2117.

Katherine.hunt@theguardian.pe.ca

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