KDSS celebrates 15th annual food/toy drive

Christmas Knights just days away

By Josh Howald

Santa's little helpers will be making the rounds on Saturday morning.


Kincardine District Secondary School students urge you to have food and toy donations ready for collection, as they plan on visiting every home in Kincardine Saturday morning for the 15th annual Christmas Knights charity campaign.


"It's a good cause," said Grade 11 student Georgia Morris.


"What's not to like about it. Christmas Knights includes and involves everyone in the community in some way."


Morris is part of an executive committee that has been meeting weekly since early November to hammer out the final details of this year's food and toy drive. The group is working off a master plan - you learn a few things in 14 years of holding it - and will make appropriate changes or suggestions for next year's executive to consider. It is a huge help, but the annual campaign to fill Christmas Hampers for those in need is still a rather large task, involving several hundred people. She first became involved in the Christmas Knights program two years ago, as one of the students collecting donations.


Saturday, volunteer drivers - usually a parent or a teacher from the high school - will take a group of four students and drive a specific route. They won't be hard to spot, as most vehicles end up looking like Christmas trees by noon. The students too, will be dressed festively as they take on the task of knocking on every door in  town. They will hit the streets at 9 a.m.


"Every door," confirmed Morris, "between Lorne Beach and Concession 10. And we'll have a great time doing it."


If you're not home when the Knights come knocking, the students urge you to leave your donation on your doorstep, clearly marked "Christmas Knights."


From there, all the donations will be taken to the St. Anthony's Church basement. There, volunteers from Kincardine Community Services will be sorting the items, and later preparing the Christmas Hampers. Any leftover food items will go to the local food bank. Annually, donations are piled near sky high as volunteers madly sort the goodies.


Last year, Christmas Knights handed out 125 Christmas Hampers to those deemed to be in need by a local school, church, community group or doctor.


"After this many years, it is a pretty well established thing," said Morris. "The community is always behind this 100 per cent."


That means in addition to all of the food and toy donations, there is plenty of help from Community Services, the Lions Club, parents, teachers and private citizens. Once the work is done, the students will return to KDSS to enjoy a job-well done barbecue.


Some years, the Christmas Knights have requested specific items from the public that were needed to fill the hampers. Not so, this season. They will happily collect any non-perishable food item, and any new, packaged toy (unwrapped).


So be ready Saturday morning. The drive starts at 9 a.m. and runs until noon. This three-hour span will make all the difference in the world to those in need this Christmas season.