Fraser Point Church volunteers drop off gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Fraser Point Church volunteers drop off gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Local church comes through with care packages for homesick students

In a heartwarming seasonal story, Fraser Point Church and TWU give gift boxes to campus residents

More than 75 dorm residents at TWU can’t be home for the holidays due to pandemic-related travel limitations.

So two Langley churches, along with TWU parents, have stepped up to provide encouragement to homesick students, by way of care packages.

Janice Nikkel, director of the parent and family network at TWU, specializes in campus community care.

Along with a team of volunteers, she runs a gifting service for students called “Touch of Home.”

This winter, she faced a challenge.

“How could we show some extra care for over 75 students who aren’t able to go home for Christmas?” she asked.

Serendipitously, across the neighbourhood in Fort Langley, the team at Fraser Point Church had similar intentions.

READ ALSO: Christmas at Langley Critter Care a first for many baby animals

Eilesha Raimondi, a leader from Fraser Point, said that her church wanted to reach out to the community, but were not sure how best to do so in this particular season.

“We were looking for ways to spread hope and joy in a very uncertain and tough season in our community,” Raimondi said.

Through a church member who is on staff at TWU, Raimondi met Nikkel, and an idea was born.

“We reached out to TWU to see if there was a way we could come alongside students this season and let them know they are seen and loved,” Raimondi said.

“We decided to create boxes for the students that met the needs Janice had put forward, as it is tough to be away from family over the holidays and to be on campus in the midst of so much unknown.”

Together, Fraser Point Church and TWU packaged 75 gift boxes for students who couldn’t return home for Christmas.

The boxes contained a $25 gift card for groceries, Fraser Valley Gourmet Toffee, photo props, the Christmas story, and other thoughtful mementos.

As well, every single student received a hand-written card that was addressed especially to them.

And then, there were more happy surprises.

READ ALSO: Beier brothers Christmas lights display is back

Becky Husbands, wife to TWU president Mark Husbands, brought a tray full of freshly baked cookies, individually wrapped with wax paper and ready for contactless pick-up.

Volunteers from Living Waters Church in Fort Langley also contributed bags of Christmas baking.

Jericho Cui, a third-year international studies major, picked up his gift box on Dec. 16.

Cui has been unable to travel home since last year.

“It was a blessing to me,” he said, upon receiving his gift, “and I am sure that other students who are staying on campus for this very special Christmas would think the same.”

“It is going to be a unique Christmas this year, but it will still be as special and lovely as any other year, with blessings from friends, family, Trinity community, and God,” he added.

Raimondi said, “It is a privilege to be able to serve and come alongside students in our community to spread some hope and love this season.”

Nikkel expressed delight to see the local community lean in to show care for the students.

“Our students are a valued part of our community. We know it has not been an easy year, and to be away from their families this Christmas is especially hard. These gifts were just a small way to show we care and they aren’t alone.”



Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


ChristmasChristmas holidayCoronavirusPost-secondary Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Janice Nikkel and Becky Husbands hand out gifts for TWU students. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Janice Nikkel and Becky Husbands hand out gifts for TWU students. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Janice Nikkel and Becky Husbands visited with students receiving gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Janice Nikkel and Becky Husbands visited with students receiving gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU students received gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU students received gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU students received gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU students received gifts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Cathy Grace, principal of Parkside Centennial, and Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation, show off a treat donated to the staff with the school mascot. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
PHOTOS: Leadership program members deliver cake and snacks to Parkside Elementary

$1,250 was raised by the four group members who wanted to help feed hungry students

Peterson, owner of Velocity Cycling in Walnut Grove, said it’s still hard to get enough bikes and parts, more than a year into the pandemic-inspired cycling boom. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley bike shops still swamped by would-be riders

It can be months to order a simple new bicycle due to COVID-19

Legion branch 265 president Doug Hadley shows off the green space where food service can continue via outdoor dining. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Aldergrove legion branch #265 preparing to open patio dining on back lawn

Branch president Doug Hadley said COVID-19 restriction have hurt clientele

LETTER: Glaciers disappearing faster than in previous decades, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Pilots from the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley were unable to take part in the actual Vimy Ridge centennial tribute in France in 2017, and similarly they were grounded today – the 103rd anniversary of the battle. This time due to weather conditions. (Canadian Museum of Flight/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Vimy Ridge flyby tribute just not in the cards?

This time, for a different reason, Canadian Museum of Flight pilots couldn’t take to the air – again

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read