Campbell River Mirror

Wish Tree fulfilled

Tara Jordan, JHSNI KidStart Mentoring Program Coordinator (left), and Janet Coleman, KidStart Mentor and Sears Wish Tree Volunteer Driver, met at Sears on Dec. 22 to sort and deliver all of the Sears Wish Tree gifts before Christmas. - Photo submitted
Tara Jordan, JHSNI KidStart Mentoring Program Coordinator (left), and Janet Coleman, KidStart Mentor and Sears Wish Tree Volunteer Driver, met at Sears on Dec. 22 to sort and deliver all of the Sears Wish Tree gifts before Christmas.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Campbell River came together for a second year in a row to answer the wishes of 117 kids on the Sears Christmas Wish Tree.

The wishes were from children in the KidStart Mentoring Program and other programs at The John Howard Society of North Island (JHSNI), who come from homes that are struggling financially this year.

As of mid-December, it looked like more than half of the kids’ wishes were not going to be answered. Following a dedicated community effort to get the word out, a huge surge of caring Campbell Riverites rushed to Sears right before the deadline to fulfill the remaining wishes.

A team of volunteers met at Sears on Dec. 22 to sort the gifts, and then had the joyful experience of delivering the gifts to the dozens of families who needed them most this season.  Many who helped deserve thanks:  the Sears Team (Norm Potoski, Krysti Broadway, and Jodi Quibell) for many hours of support, the Campbell River Mirror for printing the press release at the last minute, Pallen Timber for donating $200, JHSNI staff and friends for donating $475, KidStart Mentor Vanessa Larochelle for giving an entire day to the effort, the team of volunteers for organizing and delivering the gifts, and every caring community member who  purchased a child’s wish off the Sears Wish Tree.

“Thank you for working together to create a community that we can all be proud to call home,” said Tanya Storr, JHSNI spokesperson.

KidStart is Campbell River’s only one-to-one mentoring program for vulnerable children and youth.

The volunteer-based program focuses on the positive development of vulnerable children and youth ages 6-18 who could benefit from having stable, committed, and caring adults in their lives. Campbell River KidStart currently has 83 kids on the waitlist. If you have three hours a week to spare and would like to volunteer, consider becoming a KidStart mentor. Call Tara Jordan at 250-286-0611.

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