Alex McGowan, 8, sits surrounded by the presents she donated to the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper. (Sam Anderson)

Girl, 8, donates birthday presents to Cloverdale Christmas Hamper

‘I have too many toys,’ says Alex McGowan

Ask 8-year-old Alex McGowan about her birthday party and she will tell you that Mad Science threw her a science-themed birthday bash, she got to make slime and eat a lot of orange jello, and that it was amazing.

And if you ask her about her presents?

“I gave them away,” she said, explaining that she asked her guests to bring presents for the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper in lieu of gifts for her.

She also made a point of asking her guests to consider giving gifts that would be suitable for boys from ages 8 to 12.

“Dad searched it up and apparently [the hamper] gets more presents for girls,” said Alex.

Matthew Campbell, who organizes the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper, agreed with Alex. “One of our biggest needs is the age group of boys from 8 to 12,” he said. “They’re the hardest to buy for and the least given.”

He said this is the first time the hamper program has had a donation like this.

“It’s pretty exciting for us,” said Campbell. “We shared it around the office and people were just blown away that someone would choose to give all of their toys away to people in need.”

“It’s a good lesson,” said Alex, shrugging. She then cited a more practical reason for her generosity: “I have too many toys. I could not fit any of that in my playroom or my bedroom,” she said.

Because Alex knew that she “didn’t need any more things” and she knew that the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper is always looking for more things for families that could use a little help during the holiday season, she made the decision with her family to give rather than receive this year.

Alex said she could see it catching on, and that her friends and classmates with birthdays close to Christmas would most likely be happy to donate if they knew it was an option.

In fact, she recently received an invitation to a birthday party and the card had an note saying donations for the local hamper would happily be accepted in lieu of presents.

Hamper hopes for record-breaking donations

Campbell said that the hamper program has a record amount of boxes in the community, and that they are hoping for a record amount of donations this year.

He also said that although the deadline to register to receive a hamper has passed, if you or someone you know is struggling this season, to reach out and let him know. The hamper program will do its best to work something out.

The hampers are open to anyone in need in the Cloverdale area. Applicants must live west of 196th Street and east of 156th Street, north of 0 Avenue and south of the Fraser River.

Applicants must bring ID for each household member and a proof of address.

Hamper recipients will be given food for the holidays and toys for their children. They will also receive an invitation to the Community Turkey Dinner on Monday, Dec. 18.

Community members can contact matthew.campbell@pacificcommunity.ca or go to pacificcommunity.ca to learn more.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTER: Langley man says Wilson-Raybould deserves Canadians’ respect

A letter writer said the former federal justice minister is one of a rare class of politicians.

DW Poppy Sr. boys basketball defeats ACSS Totems rivals

DW Poppy’s Sr. boys RedHawks defeated ACSS Totems this Friday in a high-stakes basketball match.

VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Turnout was down, slightly, this year but donations are up

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Langley Township goes high tech to spotlight local history

To mark the start of History Week, the Township has put out a new app all about the community.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read