Centre prepares hampers

Christmas is still two months away, but Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre is already in the holiday spirit with staff working hard to get ready for the busy season.

The organization’s eighth annual Christmas Hamper Fundraiser takes place Nov. 4 at the Coast Bastion Inn, raising funds for food items and vouchers and toys for children.

“It’s been a difficult year for many families in Nanaimo and we know that these hampers mean a lot,” said Grace Elliott-Nielsen, Tillicum’s executive director. “We serve anyone who asks for assistance – many are referred by teachers in Nanaimo schools.”

Tillicum started the program in 2005 and has raised enough funds to support close to 1,500 families during that time.

Elliott-Nielsen also wants to make sure the public is aware that, like all of Tillicum’s programs, hampers are given to everyone in need.

“We work with all families, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal … whoever needs our support,” she said.”

Accounting firm Morine & Company is supporting Tillicum’s efforts for the third year in a row.

“This is a great event, a great organization and a wonderful opportunity to help over a hundred families during the Christmas season” said George Morine, founding partner. “We’re happy to help and we urge others to do the same.”

The fundraiser takes place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $45 and include a buffet dinner, silent auction and entertainment.

For anyone not able to attend, cash donations, food items and new toys can be dropped off at Tillicum Lelum’s office at 927 Haliburton St.

To purchase a ticket, please call 250-753-8291.

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