Literacy Quesnel Society will be co-ordinating the annual Free Family Christmas event in the West Park Mall tomorrow (Dec. 7) from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For people new to this event, Rebecca Beuschel, Literacy outreach co-ordinator, says the Literacy Quesnel Society will have a section of the mall set aside for booths. They ask participating organizations to provide a free Christmas-themed activity for children and families.
Literacy Quesnel secures funding to buy new books and the participants have the opportunity to choose a book as a gift for someone (a child, a sibling, a cousin, etc.) and have it gift wrapped for them, Beuschel explains.
“In the past, we have had between 40 and 100 participants, so we are hoping the earlier date will help us attract a big crowd.”
Beuschel notes they ask service providers to attend and everyone has a table and crafts and giveaways for participants and their parents that they can take come with them.
StrongStart is creating Gingerbread tree ornaments; the Child Development Centre is making wreaths; Quesnel Child Care Resource & Referral is doing a pinecone ornament activity; and the North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Program Society (aka Long Name) will be doing a seasonal Play-doh session and will have little bags or recipes to give away.
“Everyone will get something to take home.”
Beuschel says it started when Quesnel Literacy got a grant to buy books one year.
“We applied for it and we got money, so we bought brand new children’s books and we gave them away in the mall because we wanted every kid to have a least one present under the tree. Or they could wrap one up for someone else.
“Some of the less wealthy adults come and wrap a book for their nephew.
“So we now have books they can chose – they can choose one each. We have the gift wrapping station and we also have a snack station, where the children can make a snack that looks like a reindeer and then they can eat it.”
Beuschel says Literacy Quesnel gets volunteers to look after the books, gift wrapping and the snack table.