INNISFAIL – The people of Innisfail and area keep on giving.
The 22nd annual Innisfail Charity Checkstop, held Dec. 16, collected toys, clothing, close to $12,000 in cash and 900 pounds of food for needy families this Christmas.
Items collected went to the Innisfail Christmas Bureau, Women’s Outreach Centre in Red Deer and the Innisfail and District Food Bank.
Each of the non-profit organizations received $3,877.
“We had a really great year this year. We’re always impressed with the generosity of the community here,” said Innisfail RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Chris Matechuk. “We had a lot of volunteers on the day of the checkstop but there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing ahead of time and constable (Craig) Nelson did a great job and deserves the credit for that.”
Each recipient was grateful for the community’s response.
“We appreciate the RCMP setting up this charity checkstop,” said food bank coordinator Brenda Hand. “We give out (food) hampers every week so we need an influx of supply.
“We had an increase with families (just before Christmas) and we had more families than usual,” she added. “We gave away more hampers than we expected.”
Many new toys were collected this year as well.
“This year people were not only generous but (gave) good quality toys,” said Norma Hoppins, with the Innisfail Christmas Bureau. “A lot of the beautiful toys that came in with the Charity Checkstop this year, that’s our startup for next year.”
Women’s Outreach also received a portion of funds to help needy families.
“We see a lot of families from Innisfail that come to our agency,” said Darcy Ouellet, fund development officer.
He noted about 440 children received Christmas gifts through their adopt-a-family program.
“The Charity Checkstop is always so much in Innisfail. It’s great to see everyone that stops by and supports it.”
Brenda Hand, co-ordinator, Innisfail and District Food Bank.
“We had an increase with families (just before Christmas) and we had more families than usual.”