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Now that Halloween is over, people are moving on to preparing for the Christmas season.

The Salvation Army is one group that’s already preparing for the rush of families in need of a Christmas hamper.

The organization is hoping to raise $200,000 through the kettle drive and is looking for individuals and businesses for its Adopt-a-Hamper program.

The hampers are provided to families with children under 18 years of age that are experiencing economic and social hardships.

Each toy hamper generally includes three toys for each child in a family as well as small gifts -like chocolate or tree decorations – for the adults, says Capt. Isobel Lippers, director of family services at the Fort St. John Salvation Army. Lippers says traditionally businesses will be asked to sponsor a hamper for a particular family.

A business is then given information about the family without providing any identifying information. She says a business is usually just given the children’s ages and gender so it can provide appropriate gifts. She also says parents usually supply a list of items their children would like for the holidays, which is then given to the business.

She says one thing that the organization is in need of is gifts for teenagers such as gift cards for clothing or video stores.

Even in a thriving city like Fort St. John, she says there is a great need for donations. Last Christmas, the Salvation Army provided hampers to approximately 300 families.

In addition to toy hampers, the Salvation Army provides gift cards to families to help them with purchasing groceries for their Christmas dinner.

Any individual or business interested in sponsoring a hamper can contact Isobel Lippers at 250-785-0506.

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