Christmas Angels deliver hampers

Christmas Angels food hampers were prepared by staff of Big Lakes County and Big Lakes County Family and Community Support Services (FCSS). Standing in the front row left-right, are FCSS outreach worker Patsy Campion, county director of public works Vic Abel, FCSS outreach worker Nancy Marquardt and FCSS administrative support worker Tori Dumaresque. Standing in the back row left-right, are county CAO Jordan Panasiuk, county utility foreman Kevin Dube, FCSS outreach worker Danielle Cox, county human resources manager Eunice McCauley, county director of planning and development Pat Olansky, county director of community and protective services Brett Hawken and county executive Jessica Plante. Missing in the photo is FCSS manager Nicole Hanna.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More than 50 families and individuals in the High Prairie region enjoyed a special Christmas thanks to generous hampers.

Big Lakes County Christmas Angels program distributed 54 hampers on Dec. 22, says Nicole Hanna, manager of Big Lakes County Family and Community Support Services.

“We helped 132 people; 75 adults and 57 children,” Hanna says.

FCSS delivered six fewer hampers in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic than in 2019, she notes.

“Although we predicted a higher number of applicants and a lower number of donations due to the economy, we were surprised to get fewer applications and more donations,” Hanna says.

“It is always a good sign when we distribute fewer hampers; that means fewer people needed one.”

Each hamper included a turkey, potatoes, carrots, stuffing, corn, buns, gravy mix, cranberry sauce, milk, butter and oranges.

“Since we received an increase in donations this year, we were able to add cookies, hot chocolate, pancake mix, juice mix and popcorn to the hampers,” Hanna says.

Children in the family also received one gift.

The community again pulled through to fill the hampers and needs of the recipients.

“We had an exceptionally amazing year for donations,” Hanna says.

“Lots of residents and businesses donated,” she adds.

FCSS and Big Lakes County are grateful.

“We thank everyone who has donated,” Hanna says.

“We would not be able to do this program for families in need if it were not for the generosity of donations.”

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