Christmas hampers, pyjamas needed in Labrador West

Many people have high-paying jobs in western Labrador, but church leaders and community fundraisers say many others will be in need this Christmas.

Despite region's prosperity, many families still in need

These are some of the hundreds of pairs of pyjamas Melinda Wiseman-Myers has collected for needy children in western Labrador. (CBC)

Many people have high-paying jobs in western Labrador, but church leaders and community fundraisers say many others will be in need this Christmas.

Pastor David Milley said the area's churches, in co-operation with the local food bank, joined forces to raise money to put together about 100 hampers for families for the holiday season. 

"We have a number of families here that are single families, one-income families, people paying a lot of rent (who) can't afford to buy a house," said Milley. 

"So, a lot of their money is chewed up in rent and other things."

Milley said any money left over after the hampers are handed out will be put aside for families dealing with medical or financial emergencies. 

Pyjama drive a big hit

Melinda Wiseman-Myers has been collecting donations of new pyjamas to help families in need.

"I just thought that, why not for other children ... that would certainly enjoy waking up Christmas morning or Christmas Eve to get a new pair of pajamas."

Wiseman-Myers said she had hoped to collect about 100 pairs — one for each holiday hamper — but so far she has collected more than 300. 

"The door stop, my mailbox, if I'm home I'm answering the door all day and all night long," said Wiseman-Myers. 

"I've tried to set some times but people are coming and going constantly. And it's been great. I don't mind at all." 

Residents quick to help out

Wiseman-Myers has partnered up with local charity Toys for Joys, which will include the extra pyjamas inside toy donation boxes. 
    
Both Wiseman-Myers and Milley agreed that while there is an income gap between families in their area, community members with extra resources are quick to help out. 

"Every year during this Christmas season, when we put out our big campaign, people respond," said Milley. "We do very well. The larger companies help us, and the average individual."  

Milley added that churches are accepting donations until Dec. 20, when volunteers will pack the hampers.

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