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Commentary: Bring on the Innisfail bureau team

MVT Norma Hoppins Xmas Bureau 2019
Norma Hoppins is the donations chairperson for the Innisfail Christmas Bureau. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

For more than 35 years the mandate of the Innisfail Christmas Bureau has been to ensure that each and every child in our community is able to receive gifts at Christmas.

This great group also ensures that a generous meal is on the table for all who need it.

Innisfail is a giving community in many ways in order to make the bureau so vital.  A huge thank you to Innisfail Co-op for use of the space recently vacated by the Amish furniture business.

 This is the third time Co-op has donated space to the Innisfail Christmas Bureau and it generously gifts the utilities, as well.  This space is roomy, functional and has easy access for parking and pickup.

Headed by chairperson Karina Lucas, a small army of volunteers gets to work!  After members of the Innisfail Fire Department retrieve the items from storage and set up the tables the crew takes over. There is a registration team, a treasurer, donation chair, shoppers, hamper fillers, hamper delivery folks, seniors' gifts team, financial records and the Charity Check Stop team.  This is a proverbial “well-oiled machine."  It is a power group, for sure!

Registrations have begun and continue until Dec. 9. Times are Mondays 7 - 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 2 - 3:30 p.m.  Last hamper fill/ pickup is Dec. 12.  The firemen pack up our world for storage on Dec. 17.

The early time frame allows parents to see what they will receive and allows the volunteers to make Christmas happen in their own homes!
  All gifts received later in the process actually become the startup gifts for the next year.  Donations will be picked up until Dec. 20 or 21 by your cheerful donation chairperson. 

Working at the Innisfail Christmas Bureau is a rewarding and humbling experience.  Recipients of hampers are usually overwhelmed with what they receive.  They express their thanks, they smile or they cry and often, so do the volunteers!

Thanks to all who make this happen!

Norma Hoppins is the donation chairperson for the Innisfail Christmas Bureau and has volunteered there for the past 15 years.