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Christmas Cheer Fund selects six charities Over the last nine years, the Christmas Cheer Fund has taken in $394,201.

68, all of it donated by readers and friends, and spread it among local charities. Last year, you gave us a record $83,736.74 and, because The Daily News covers costs associated with the fund, every penny of it was turned over to local charities. This year, as we did a year ago, we asked local oakley sunglasses green lenses charities to apply for consideration. Those applications then were turned over to our six person selection committee, and it has made its selections. This year, the beneficiaries of your Christmas Cheer Fund will be: l Boys Girls Club of Kamloops; l Family Tree Family Centre; l Kamloops Food Bank; l Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice Home; l New Life Mission; and l YMCA YWCA 'Y' Women's Emergency Shelter. These are six local organizations, each of which provides help for those who need it the most. According to Leah Dawson, the executive of the Boys Girls Club of Kamloops, "Recreation and social development for children and youth is oakley mens the foundation of our programs. We provide opportunities for children and youth ages five to 18 and their families to participate in a wide variety of activities. These programs are designed to promote emotional, physical and social growth, as well as enhance self esteem." The Boys Girls Club offers after school programs, evening recreation programs and cost free evening social programs and also features school based homework clubs that provide a safe and supportive environment. It also offers Power Start, a program that assists children to arrive safely at school in three North Shore locations. Dawson also informs that all programs are open to everyone, that membership and program fees are affordable, that many are cost free and that "no one is ever turned away based on an inability to pay." The Family Tree Family Centre is a grassroots, peer driven organization that provides services and support for high priority families in oakley watch downtown Kamloops. What started as an informal drop in program and support group for mothers in recovery now is six years old and has evolved into a brick and mortar location with four days of programming per week. Susan Clarke, herself a mother in recovery, operates Family Tree and, according to her, it "does not duplicate any services offered in Kamloops but rather has developed a collaborative approach with other professional services." Clarke, who has been clean and sober for more than five years, points out that Family Tree facilitates low income families, families new to Kamloops seeking social supports, and women who are struggling with isolation, violence and substance abuse." The Kamloops Food Bank and Outreach Society has been providing food to individuals and families for almost 30 years. Each month, an average of 2,400 individuals come through the doors seeking help. "The food collected and distributed impacts more than 38 local schools and area agencies that feed the hungry, in addition to the 6,931 individuals who accessed the services on site in 2010," noted Bernadette Siracky, the KFB's executive director. The food bank also operates FoodShare, a food recovery program that collects close dated fruit, vegetables and baked goods from local donors. Its truck operates seven days a week and recovers approximately 700,000 pounds of perishable goods each year. The Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice Home is under the auspices of the Kamloops Hospice Association. Its mission is to "enhance the quality of life and death of persons facing death and grief through skilled and compassionate physical, emotional and spiritual care in the setting of the individual's choice." The house opened on Feb. 16, 2004, and has since had more than 1,300 patients. On March 10, 2008, a six bed wing was opened. At present, it is holding a 'New Bed Campaign' as part of the plan to replace the original six beds. The cost of each bed is about $6,000. Excecutive director Tiny Whyte said, "any funds donated will go directly toward the purchase of six new beds. This will provide the opportunity to raise the level of comfort for each of our patients." The New Life Mission, according to executive director Kelly Row, prepared and served more than 2,000 more meals in May and June of 2011 "than we did in the same period last year." "As food and other costs continue to rise, we face greater challenges to provide for the people who so desperately need our services." In 2010, the New Life Mission served more than 40,000 meals and 140,000 cups of coffee, helped clothe more than 500 people, helped more than 600 people with emergency dental services... The Y Women's Emergency Shelter has provided safety and support to more than 500 women and children over the past 12 months. The facility, with a capacity of 23, now is 20 years of age and requires on going attention.

Money from last year's Christmas Cheer Fund was used to replace carpets with oakley scar vinyl and laminate. As well, visual door monitors gave out they were 20 years old and, according to CEO Colin Reid, "were replaced with Cheer dollars.".

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