Islanders help fulfil Christmas in the Village wishes for 3rd year
Facebook group pairs requests with families willing to help
Island Mothers Helping Mothers are starting their work to get together to buy and deliver gifts to P.E.I. children in need at Christmas.
Sarah Stewart-Clark says the response to the group's initiative, Christmas in the Village, since the first year has been overwhelming.
Island Mothers Helping Mothers is a Facebook support group with 4,300 members from across the Island who support each other in times of need.
When it comes to Christmas in the Village, families make a request for help for their child or children to Stewart-Clark, who posts the wish online. A family that can help comments 'taken' and they fill the child's or children's request.
To date, there are 131 children to help this year.
"What's really fun to see is now that we are in our third year I do have some people who are givers every year and they ask for the family back that they had the year before," Stewart-Clark said.
"They've kept a connection with that family in their community. Their children now play together and are best friends and they would like to continue to help that family at Christmas."
All requests are anonymous until Stewart-Clark sends the person who has offered to help the contact name of the person making the request.
"The families deliver the Christmas items directly to the family they are donating to."
Stewart-Clark said for some it's just a drop-off at a set location or a direct delivery. Some take mothers shopping with them to make sure the items are what the child needs.
She added sometimes the request is as simple as a winter hat and mitts which a group member happily knits and delivers.
One delivery led to a new friendship for Stewart-Clark with a mother who hadn't received a Christmas gift..
She said they almost didn't stop after a long day of delivering gifts but were glad they did.
"We brought Christmas gifts to their kids and herself. To me that was no different than any other exchange we had made that day but what I didn't know is that mother had never been given a Christmas gift for herself."
Stewart-Clark said as a result of that moment, the two connected and remain friends.
With files from Pat Martel