A caring Chilliwack community has come together once again to make a difference for one local family.
On Boxing Day, Jamie Moffatt posted in the Living in Chilliwack Facebook group asking for support for two teenage boys who live with their 75-year-old grandmother.
“Today my son told about his friend who didn’t get any Christmas presents this year. They are faced with many hardships,” Moffatt wrote, in part.
At the same time Moffatt asked for help on behalf of the family, another member of the community had also put the call out.
When Trisha Mercer realized Moffatt was helping the same family, the two began working together along with Sue Knudsen, Shannon Ellis and Colin Skinner who are all members of SPARKS (Special People Acts of Random Kindness Shared).
“We need to partner and move forward and make sure their needs are met. They need a childhood,” Mercer said. “This grandma, she’s a hero. She stepped up and now she needs help.”
The community of Chilliwack answered the call right away, and soon after Moffatt’s Dec. 26 post, the two boys and their grandmother got a late Christmas present.
In came donations of food, clothing, money and more, all generously donated by people throughout the community.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, Moffatt brought food and gift cards to the family. And on Saturday, Jan. 2, winter coats, boots, new clothing, plus more groceries and gift cards were dropped off.
A total of $1,275 came in for the family, including a single donation of $1,000. The money was topped up by organizers for a total of $1,500 with which a new fridge and new washing machine were purchased.
The two new appliances, along with a stove that was donated, were delivered to the family on Saturday, Jan. 2.
SPARKS co-founder and licenced accountant, Sue Knudsen, is handling the donated money for the family. SPARKS is a group of volunteers that has done good deeds like helping fire victims and giving out free meals to the less fortunate.
Sadly, these teens are just two of many kids in Chilliwack who need help and are not getting it. It’s the quiet ones who often get missed, Mercer said.
“The community needs to understand that there are so many other kids in this same situation. There are a lot of kids who are falling through the cracks.”
The eldest teen is graduating high school this year and the organizers are also hoping to help pay for his graduation costs.
“These kids matter and they need to know they’re worthy,” Mercer said.
The success of this belated Christmas gift was made possible by the people of Chilliwack who “over and over” give to their neighbours in need, she said.
“It’s about this community always rising to help each other. We live in a beautiful place, this does not happen everywhere,” Mercer said.
To help, go to the Facebook event Christmas is done but the community love continues to spread. Monetary donations can be made via e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.