Just in time for the giving season comes the welcoming news that the Fruitvale Community Chest will go on.
Volunteers with the chest have fundraised and assembled Christmas hampers for decades. Last year alone, they provided 110 hampers to individuals and families in the Beaver Valley, as well as 10 others to Fruitvale House and the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre.
But the long-serving volunteers were burnt out and ready to call it a day after Christmas 2018.
That is why the United Way of Trail and District has taken the reins, to make certain the charitable cause continues this season and in coming years.
“As the Beaver Valley is a part off our district, we wanted to ensure that the program stay active for those in need in the Beaver Valley,” says Naomi McKimmie.
As executive director of the United Way of Trail and District, McKimmie is getting word out about the development of a Community Initiative Program for the Beaver Valley area, called the “Beaver Valley Food Action Initiative” (BVFAI).
“The remainder of 2019 will see this program support the Beaver Valley Hamper Fund formally known as the Fruitvale Community Chest: Hamper Program,” she explained.
“All residents of the Beaver Valley living on low income are eligible for a Christmas Hamper.”
Those living in Montrose, Area A of the regional district, and Fruitvale, (who are eligible) can pick up an application for a hamper at Liberty Foods, the village offices, or at the Beaver Valley Food Bank. Applications are also available on the United Way Trail and District website. The deadline is Nov. 15.
“We would like to thank the board and volunteers of the Fruitvale Community Chest for their many years of service to the communities of the Beaver Valley,” McKimmie said.
“And the volunteers that are staying on helping with the transition of the hamper program, we appreciate their assistance and knowledge sharing during this time of transition.”
More hands are still needed for this new committee.
McKimmie says the United Way is seeking up to eight volunteers from the Beaver Valley to commit to a three-year term.
“We are also looking for volunteers to assist with assembly of the hampers,” she said.
For more information or to sign-up, contact Naomi McKimmie at 250.364.0999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well, annual donors to the Fruitvale Community Chest who wish to continue their support of Christmas hampers, and future food initiatives for the Beaver Valley area, are encouraged to call McKimmie at the United Way office.
“(I) will be happy to assist you with ensuring your donation continues to stay local by adding your name to our new BVFAI Campaign mailing list,” she said.
“In the comment box of the donation form just write ‘Beaver Valley’ or ‘BV’ and this will let us know that you want your donation to stay in the Beaver Valley.”
Donations can also be given online through the local United Way at www.uwtraildistrict.org. Click the “What We Do” tab then the “Community Initiatives” link.