There are many ways to donate and help low-income families in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have a Merry Christmas.
The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society is in the midst of registering families to receive toys and food this holiday season.
And, as a way to give those folks coming to sign up just a bit extra, the hamper society has been running Rudolph's Recycle Gift Shoppe for the past 12 years.
It allows families that are getting toys and food through the hamper society for Dec. 25 to get some, gently used clothing, toys, blankets, and household items.
Rudolph's Recycle Gift Shoppe is open on Dec. 1, 8, and 15, and the hamper society is asking for donations for the popular event.
Some families waited for three hours in line to get in last year, said the hamper society's co-chair Lorraine Bates.
Donations for the gift shoppe can be dropped off at the hamper offices at the Albion fairgrounds.
While the many volunteers help keep the hamper society going, including Bates and co-chair Tom Cameron, there are also people out in the community who fraudulently collect donations.
During the Christmas season, there are always impostors who collect toys, food, and cash, Bates warned, and some use names that are similar to the hamper society to confuse people when soliciting.
The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society doesn't solicit door to door, nor do they do telephone solicitation, she explained.
If anyone has a donation that needs to be picked up, the hamper society will advise them of the person who will come to get it and that person will carry photo identification.
Large, decorated boxes can be found at Haney Place Mall and Valley Fair Mall where toys can be dropped off.
West Coast Express' Santa Train will be running on two Saturdays this year - Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 - and voluteeers will be at the stations. In lieu of WCE fares, they will be collecting toys and cash donations for hamper families.
Donations can be made at the Santa Claus Parade where the hamper society will have a tent, and on Dec. 15 when the firefighters do their annual Firefighters for Families fundraiser for the hamper society and Friends In Need Food Bank.
Donations of toys and cash can be also made to the Christmas hamper society at the Albion Fairgrounds on 105th Ave. just north of Lougheed Highway.
Items can also be dropped off at Otter Co-op, 12343 Harris Rd., Pitt Meadows.
Credit card donations can be made at www.mrpmchristmashamper.org. Donations of toys and cash can also be dropped off at The TIMES office at 22345 North Ave. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday to Friday.
. Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register at 20578 Lougheed Hwy.
. Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pitt Meadows Lions Club, 12479 Harris. Rd. . Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Albion Fairgrounds, 105th Ave. north of Lougheed . Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Legion Branch 88, 12101 224th St.