Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Knights come collecting this Saturday

By Josh Howald

The Knights will come knocking on Saturday.

The Christmas Knights annual food and toy drive program will begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

“It’s a really good cause, and a great way to capture that Christmas spirit,” said high school student Amy Nagus, one of three students who helped organize this year’s drive for Kincardine Community Services.

This will be the 14th year for the campaign, and little has changed. Volunteer drivers and KDSS students travel door-to-door in groups to collect food and toy donations from the public. The donations are used to produce Christmas Hampers for those in need.

“We’ve made sure our routes will cover every single house in Kincardine,” said Nagus. “We have 135 student volunteers along with drivers and we’re looking forward to getting out there in the community.”

The Knights will be collecting food until about 12:30 p.m. – or every house in town has been visited. The donations are then taken to the St. Anthony’s Church basement and sorted by volunteers. Kincardine Community Services packs the hampers and distributes them to those who have been referred by local social support agencies, religious officials and the food bank. Any leftover food is distributed to the local food bank.

Donations of non-perishable food items, new clothing and toys are encouraged, and Nagus said there is a great demand for a few certain items this year.

“We’re asking for gifts for teens and single, older people,” she said. “Sometimes those living on their own have it particularly rough at Christmas, so items like new books would really be appreciated.”

Other useful items include festive food, baby food, diapers, winter clothing and personal care items. Toys should be left unwrapped so they can be sorted, and all toys and clothes should be new.

The students collecting on Saturday shouldn’t be hard to spot. They will be travelling in groups of four in vehicles decorated for the cause. The students are having a fun competition to see which vehicle is the best decorated for the occasion. Nagus stressed the students will hit every single house in Kincardine with a knock on the door. If you’re not going to be home and still wish to donate, Nagus asks you leave donations in a reusable cloth bag on your doorstep. If an item is too large to fit in a bag, label it “Christmas Knights” and it will be picked up. If your house is missed for some reason, you can take the donation to the St. Anthony’s Church basement. Following the collection and sorting, the student volunteers will enjoy a barbecue donated and operated by the Kincardine Lions Club.

“It has certainly been a lot of work,” said Nagus. “But the community is always behind us on this 100 per cent. It’s one of the programs at KDSS that we’re especially proud of.

Last year, more than 100 Christmas Hampers were distributed to those in need.