Siblings collect food and cash for St. Vincent de Paul Society

For many 13- and 12-year-olds, the focus of Christmas is presents, presents and more presents. Not so for siblings Lucas and Frances Border, who organized an impromptu yuletide food drive in their Gonzales neighbourhood, designing, printing and distributing 120 flyers asking for donations from neighbours.

(at left) Jenneke van Hemert, left, program manager for St. Vincent de Paul’s social concern office, helps Lucas Border, right, mom Catherine Border, back right, and sister Frances Border load and weigh their donations.

The two ended up collecting 174 kilograms of food and $450 for St. Vincent de Paul Society of Vancouver Island so families in need could enjoy healthy meals over the holidays.

Lucas, 13, said he participated in a successful food drive when he was a Cub with the Boy Scouts a number of years ago and it made a lasting impression.

“I wanted to give back something to the community,” said Lucas. “The community showed they cared as well, with donations that exceeded my expectations.”

On Tuesday, the two dropped off their collection of 300-plus non-perishable food items to St. Vincent de Paul, which operates a downtown office on Yates Street that provides food and clothing to those in need.

The $450 in cash will be used to buy food in bulk to get a better deal. The society will also use some of the money to purchase fresh produce and other perishable ingredients so families can prepare nutritious meals.

“It was a lovely surprise to receive the donation from the children,” said Jenneke van Hemert, program manager for St. Vincent de Paul’s social concern office. “There is always a need for food and cash donations are always appreciated. It is really extraordinary what these children have done and it gives us hope for the future.”

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Vancouver Island has been supporting people in need locally since 1916.

The social concern office serves more than 1,000 visitors per month.

It partners with local Fairway Market grocery stores to reclaim fruit and vegetables for a food pantry where families in need can shop for free groceries.

Originally published:

Times Colonist
24 Dec 2021

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