Christmas shopping just for children coming to Barriere

The Christmas season is filled with giving that comes in all shapes and forms. Children most often are given something from a member of the family, whether it is immediate or extended family, as everyone relates the holiday season to children and gifts. However, sometimes we forget that children also like to give, and the anticipation of seeing their parent open something that the child has bought ads to their enjoyment.

Barriere resident, Debbie Johnston, says she came up with an idea to help the children be able to give presents that they have chosen and purchased themselves to other family members. Her idea is to create an affordable shopping event for youngsters in a safe and friendly community environment.

“A couple of weeks ago I decided to run with this idea,” tells Johnston, “With some help from the North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre (NTVIC) as well as NTVIC staffers Dori McRea and Judy Armstrong, I have put together what I think is a wonderful event. “I have been getting donations from my friends and family members of gently used items that they have so graciously parted with to help my project.”

The Christmas Children’s Shopping Event will be taking place on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. in the NTVIC room at the Barriere Ridge, and again on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., also in the NTVIC room in the Barriere Ridge. This event is for families residing in Barriere, Chu Chua, McLure and Little Fort, and the children participating must be between the ages of one and 16 years.

Johnston has posted this event on the Barriere Facebook sites to ask for volunteers and help with donations so there will be items that the children can buy and have wrapped as well if they so choose.

“I have many people stepping forward in Barriere to help as volunteers, with some people donating as well,” tells Johnston, “However, I am still looking for items that can be sold as gifts for dad. We are looking for items such as small tools, belts, travel mugs, cups, hats/ toques, bungee cords, etcetera. All we ask is that items be working and clean.”

Johnston adds that if folks have anything they would like to donate for a mom, that would also be welcome. Businesses that may wish to donate to this event can call Johnston at 250-672-1917. Donations can also be dropped off at the NTVIC, or to Johnston; just call her at 250-672- 1917 before arriving.

Johnston notes there is a limited amount of donations, so it will be a first come first served type of event.

“If the younger ones need help with their shopping we will have Certified Childcare Workers onsite to help,” says Johnston, “Or if dad wants to shop with his little one for mom, or vice versa that is okay too.”

“Parents can attend the event with their children, and while the children shop in the store the parents can have coffee and cookies in another room.” Johnston says, “We will have a variety of items for both mom and dad, along with a table full of Christmas items, all priced from .50 cents to $5. “Any stuffies and pet items we have will be sold with 100 per cent of those proceeds going to Pommy Country Rescue.,” says Johnston, “All other items sold 100 per cent of the proceeds will be going to the Barriere Food Bank to help them with their Christmas Hampers. Once the event is over, any items that I find that the Food Bank could use to put in their Christmas Hampers will also be donated to them.”

Johnston also notes that Tupperware Sales representative- Jen Crosman will also have a table set up to help kids make hot chocolate goodie cups to buy. Cost will be $4, with $2 of each sale being donated to the Barriere Food Bank.

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