Food and gift hampers gathered by Langley youngsters

This Christmas season, 557 Langley preschool and kindergarten students joined the 2,000 Wind and Tide preschoolers from across the Lower Mainland to partner with Union Gospel Mission (UGM) in providing essential food items and specially chosen gifts for 56 low-income families.

Founding director of Wind & Tide Schools Rachel Cram supervises over 2,000 young students from her home in Langley.

With 30 preschools, kindergartens and child development centres in Langley, Surrey, and across the Lower Mainland, Cram is kept busy just running the operation with the help of education director Suzie Warneke.

But each Christmas, Cram prompts her many young students to learn about the needs in their own communities and to play a part in solving those needs.

She does so through UGM’s Gifts of Hope initiative, where each year her students assemble holiday hampers for families in need.

“Through the generosity of the children at Wind & Tide and other donors, we’ve been able to provide 200 hampers for families as well as some singles,” said Barb Atkins, manager of UGM’s Women and Families Centre. “Each hamper is packed with all of the food items needed to prepare a tasty Christmas dinner including gift cards to purchase a turkey, groceries and dairy as well as a personalized gift for each family member.”

UGM delivers the hampers to low income families in Vancouver’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

In November, each school received a list of needed food items, as well as information about the gender, age, and interests of each family member.

Then the students got to work, bringing donations from home, gathering food, choosing toys and gifts, and slowly watching the hampers fill up.

“It is quite amazing to witness the students experiencing the joy of giving to those in need,” said Warneke “At age three and four, these children understand this. They see the importance of teamwork and how together they can make a difference.”

The Gifts of Hope initiative began in 2007 when Wind & Tide Schools partnered with UGM after families expressed an interest in meeting local needs and teaching their children to give where they live. What started out as Christmas stockings for school-aged children transitioned into an annual toy drive.

After several successful years, the preschools decided to supply entire hampers to low-income families through UGM.

“Each year the families and children make this a priority,” said Warneke. “I see how this initiative impacts families and how grateful they are to teach their children how to give.

“The hope is that they go on to give in the future.”  

About Union Gospel Mission

Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for over 70 years. Through its 7 locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counselling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction.

The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.

 

About Wind & Tide

Rachel Cram, Director of Wind & Tides Schools, began her first preschool in the basement of her home in White Rock and has seen it grow into 30 preschools, kindergartens, childcare, afterschool programs and a family resource centre spread across the Lower Mainland.

From the very beginning, the philosophy of Wind & Tides has been to start students on a path of altruistic living and awareness of the needs in their communities and abroad, through classroom instruction and hands on learning. 

Just Posted

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read