Some Airdrie families are still trying to recover from the economic slowdown of the past few years which gives the Airdrie Lioness Club and others in Airdrie, the chance to spread some Christmas cheer in the form of a hand up.

The club has launched its Christmas Hamper Program for 2018.  President Rhonda Auclair says the program started for this year on November 1st and they'll be going hard right up until the hampers are distributed December 15th and 16th.  Auclair says they haven't seen the need in the city going down, which makes the program so important.

"We're expecting to do 350 plus hampers this year.  The need is still great throughout the city of Airdrie for the hamper program and to give people a little bit of a lift up at Christmas with a gift and just a little bit of love from the city of Airdrie."

Tomorrow (November 17) is one of the most important days for the program.  Club members will be at six grocery stores throughout Airdrie collecting food donations.  The Lioness' have also distributed 7,000 bags in communities in the city.  They'll collect those bags, hopefully, filled with groceries, from people's doorsteps tomorrow morning.

"We're hoping to reach a goal of $5,000 in grocery items tomorrow," remarks Auclair.  She says the generosity of Airdrie residents has always been tremendous.

"Airdrie residents are always so extremely generous.  In the past, we've always had a fantastic collection of food items and we're just expecting  the city of Airdrie would again be generous and help us reach that $5,000 goal."

The Lioness club has 40 members in their ranks and all of them will take part in tomorrow's food drive, either collecting food in neighbourhoods, at grocery stores or working to sort items at the depot.  Club members will be at Airdrie grocery stores from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and will be doing the community collections starting at around 9:30 am.  

The collection depot, located at 805 Main Street, will be open so people can drop off donations from November 27th through December 14th.  Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  You can sponsor a family, make a cash donation or donate food to the program.  

A list of the items most needed for the Christmas hampers is on the club website,

Auclair believes, especially at Christmas, that people are often looking for ways they can give back.  She says the Lioness Hamper Program is a perfect way to do that.

"We're always searching for ways to give back and not always knowing what that avenue might be.  You could bring a small amount of groceries, a toy.  You could sponsor a family or your organization could sponsor a family.  We take gift cards, so there's just an array of different things that anybody who wants to give back, just a little bit, that's the avenue to go for Christmas."

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