Many women and children will have brighter Christmases thanks to the Langley-based Infinite Expansion Foundation and its sixth annual We Are Here to Help gift and toy drive.
The plans are ambitious – 2,000 families receiving presents and 1,000 meals.
”We collect the presents for Ishtar Women’s Resource Society who will manage distributing the presents. The participants involved in the foundation’s Art Mentorship program will also receive gifts. The 1,000 meals will be distributed through our outreach program and handed out to our homeless community during December,” explained Augustino Duminuco, the foundation founder. “Last year we were able to help over 1,100 families, this year’s goal is 2,000.”
The foundation has partnered with Ishtar Women’s Resource Society for the Christmas campaign which is accepting donations until Dec. 14.
The campaign is about making the holidays special for local women and children and others. It includes haircuts for kids, a clothing drive and handmade cards for seniors.
“The haircut event date will announced shortly as we are working out details with the barber shop we partnered with last year,” Duminuco said. “Once announced on social media, we will take appointments. Last year every appointment was filled with 35 children haircuts, given by six barbers and hair stylists.”
There’s the part that focuses on seniors.
“We have partnered with the Kindness 2020 project which has organized volunteers to create the cards and will be distributed by our community partners to seniors,” Duminuco said.
This campaign can only happen each year because “without our community coming together none of this would be possible,” he noted. That includes many local businesses that allow collection boxes in their locations as well as support from Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek and Councillor Rosemary Wallace, Township Coun. Margaret Kunst, MLA Megan Dykeman, MP Tako van Popta, and the Royal Canadian Legion in Aldergrove.
“We have had overwhelming support from our community since the first initiative. There have been many amazing people experiencing hardship during this time of year that we have supported. The smiles, the tears and expression of gratitude from our recipients has been touching. To keep going my father taught me something as a child and was installed into me at a young age: ‘Learn, earn, and return.’ I will do this for the rest of my life because I am grateful for the life I have been given, and the support received over the years,” Duminuco said. “I know exactly what it is like to be on the other side. All that life experience has given me gratitude for life and compassion for humans.”
To donate or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-446-2444. Learn more about the campaign or the foundation at infiniteexpansionfoundation.ca.
“If people would like to donate, we have over 30 drop off locations in the Langley and Fraser Valley area,” Duminuco noted.
Ishtar runs two transition houses in Langley to help women and children fleeing violence as well as offering programs and services to support them.
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