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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Newark Neighbours prepares to fill dozens of hampers for Christmas
From left, Sharon Rogers, Pat Fryer, Lori Pizante and Pat Hicks pose with some of the handmand quilts they were gifted by the Cornerstone Community Church Tuesday Morning Ladies Quilting Group. The quilts will go with this years Newark Neighbours Christmas hampers. Somer Slobodian

Christmas is around the corner and Newark Neighbours is getting its Christmas hampers ready. 

Much like Thanksgiving, Newark Neighbours will be providing between 55 and 60 families with a hamper full of food – enough to enjoy a nice Christmas meal. 

Each hamper will have a turkey or ham, a bag of potatoes, onions, carrots, canned non-perishables and a freshly baked pie. 

Hampers will also be full of Christmas goodies – like cookies and candy. 

The shelves were quite bare before Thanksgiving, but now they are “full to the rafters,” said Newark Neighbours board chair Cindy Grant.

“It’s a good problem to have,” she said.

The more donations the agency gets, the more families it can help.

Along with a nice meal, Newark will be sending families home with Christmas gifts.

“We also give gifts to all of our families, and particularly to the children. So we’ve asked for their wish lists. And we do our best to provide what’s on the list,” said Grant. 

Gifts are needed for infants right up to teenagers, she said. 

Kids have asked for items like toys, Barbies, games and electronics. One even asked for a telescope. 

“Somebody from the community donated a full carton of adorable little stuffed animals,” said Grant. 

She wants to try to do gifts for the parents as well, like sweaters, socks and other necessities. 

An organization called Toolbox Project Niagara also donates men’s toiletry kits to Newark every year, said Grant. 

A women’s group that meets every Tuesday at Cornerstone Community Church also recently donated about 20 hand-quilted blankets, which will be handed out to families.

The hampers will be distributed on Dec. 21 and people can contribute donations up until Dec. 19. 

Newark Neighbours will be closed on Dec. 16 for a staff and volunteers celebration but will reopen on Dec. 19. The agency will be closed over the holidays starting Dec. 20 and resume operations on Jan. 3.

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