Westshore Christmas Hamper Fund vice-president and treasurer Paul Patrick

Christmas craft sale visitors allow Guild best donation yet in Langford

Craft sale donations turned into support for West Shore families in need

Members of the Juan de Fuca Arts and Crafts Guild have been putting on their Christmas craft sale, known these days as Holiday Gifts Galore, for 40 years.

For almost as long, 32 years to be exact, this group of artisans has been placing a donation jar near the entrance to the show, giving shoppers and Guild members the opportunity to help out those less fortunate at Christmastime.

Almost as a show of solidarity to celebrate the 40th show and sale, and perhaps in acknowledgment of the rising need, donors tucked nearly $1,200 into the jar for the Westshore Christmas Hamper Fund.

“Donations have averaged between $500 and $700 the last few years and in 2014 we were extremely pleased when the donations totalled $956.75,” wrote Guild member Anne Vanderwereld, the head of the cottage craft group. “This year, members of the Guild and the public amazed us again. When we totalled the donations we found that $1,176.60 had been (given).”

Guild treasurer Donna Vaesen said the total proved how the community pulls together for a good cause. “We were surprised,” she said. “With everybody saying how hard it is to do, the public was very generous.”

Representatives of the Guild, which lists quilters, painters, embroidery and sewing enthusiasts and other crafters as members, stopped by the Hamper Fund’s busy base at the Goldstream Food Bank on Tuesday to make the donation.

Their timing was good, as the charity had begun giving out Christmas hampers the day before.


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