Christmas Day Lunch frantic for food, gifts, clothes, cash, volunteers

Nancy Rizk (left, with Henry Wikkerink and Marita Judson) says Cowichan’s annual Christmas Day lunch — spearheaded by Howie George, not pictured — is way behind in donations this year. - Krista Siefken/file
Nancy Rizk (left, with Henry Wikkerink and Marita Judson) says Cowichan’s annual Christmas Day lunch — spearheaded by Howie George, not pictured — is way behind in donations this year.
— image credit: Krista Siefken/file

The Grinch may highjack this year's annual Howie George Christmas Day Lunch.

"It's not going very well, to be blunt," said New Life Church organizer Nancy Rizk.

She still needs food, personal-care items, store gift certificates, cash, warm clothes, and volunteers to help needy folks at Cowichan Tribes' Si'em Lelum Gym.

"Christmas is Tuesday. Right now we have potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, but we need turkeys, mandarin oranges, stove-top stuffing, and cranberry sauce," Rizk said of the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. dinner that fed about 600 folks last year.

Food needs aside, a worried Rizk also needs labour for the community present to Cowichan's disadvantaged.

"People can offer their help for any part of this day.

"It includes setting up the gym, decorating, bringing the food to the gym, serving food and handing out donated gifts of clothing, food, and personal-care items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and baby-care items, and all that has been donated, as well as clean-up."

About two-dozen more volunteers are on her wish list for the 10-year-old lunch.

Food will be prepared between Dec. 22 and 24 in New Life Community Church's kitchen.

Volunteers will also help Christmas Day from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We're looking for donations of these items from this generous community that has helped us in the past," she said of donations that can be dropped at Duncan's Margaret Moss Centre, or New Life Church.

"We accept donations of food for the dinner, and money or cash gift cards, no larger than $25 please."

Money and gift cards will buy food, or be handed out to meal guests.

"Everything that's donated goes to people who come, or it's passed along to others in need," Rizk said of the shoestring charity event.

Call 250-701-4911, or call New Life Church at  250-748-6521.

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