Army of volunteers get packing

With a week to go before Christmas day on Tuesday, an army of volunteers were giving of their time to those less fortunate.

At the Princess of Wales Own Regiment armoury on Montreal Street, an army of another kind took over the Salvation Army for the packing of more than 2,100 Christmas food hampers and toy packages for Kingstonians in need.

For three hours, volunteers moved in assembly line fashion, picking up an empty Salvation Army cardboard box at one end of the line and filling it with about 20 items needed for a Christmas dinner and other meals around the holidays.

Kirsten Morris, the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper co ordinator, said the hampers can be packed without the help of hundreds of volunteers, who come back year after year.

amazing when you see all these people come together, she said.

lot of these volunteers don even call us, they just show up. They at the door first thing at seven o in the morning to help us prepare these hampers. toms outlet toms outlet g> said they have been at the armoury since Saturday with 20 to 80 volunteers working each day in preparation for Tuesday massive packing effort.

is one of our busiest volunteer days and we have over 100 volunteers here. also get volunteers out from specific groups, said Morris.

are other organizations and companies that get together and come out on their lunch break to help us. volunteer John Kerliake of Kingston kept everyone entertained with timely jokes as he put potatoes in fellow volunteers hampers.

Christmastime it the right thing to do, he said.

Neil Ainsworth, a volunteer of 26 years and the logistical co ordinator of the packing, takes a week off work from the Invista plant to plan and oversee the production.

gotten bigger, unfortunately, but we gotten better and faster, said Ainsworth as he folded completed hamper boxes.

Last year, volunteers packed 1,700 hampers, 400 fewer than this year.

Since moving to the larger armoury space a few years ago, the process is much more efficient, said Ainsworth.

can get a lot more people involved with it this way and we right with the toy drive, so everything comes together and makes a good Christmas package for everyone. said co ordinating the packing is a satisfying feeling.

I wake up Christmas morning, I know that I done my part to make sure that Kings has a lot better Christmas morning.

of families out there benefit from this and it just gives me a good feeling to know that I helped to make that happen. also get to pick up toys for their children any child younger than 12 fr toms outlet om a needy family gets two toys and a stuffed animal.

The toys were collected through cash donations and from a collection area at the Cataraqui Centre. About 1,200 stuffed toys were collected from the Kingston Frontenacs annual Teddy Bear Toss game at the

K Rock Centre on Dec. 7.

In order to pay for the 2,100 hampers, which cost about $50 each, the Salvation Army depends on a variety of sources of funding.

Morris says its get companies and organizations making up their own baskets and forwarding them to needy families as well as local families that like to sponsor similar size families.

The bulk of the funding for the hampers comes from community contributi toms outlet ons to the Jerome Taylor Memorial Whig Standard/Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Campaign which has raised more than $100,000 this year towards a goal of $130,000.