June 14th, 2024

Citizens come up big for LPS Charity Checkstop


By Lethbridge Herald on December 5, 2022.

Herald Photo By Justin Seward Lethbridge Police Service Insp. Rusty Lawrence takes a bag full of donations from a car to the bins during LPS's Charity Checkstop on Saturday at the Enmax Centre parking lot.

Justin Seward – LETHBRIDGE HERALD

Lethbridge Police Service officers were out on a brisk Saturday afternoon collecting toy, monetary and food donations for those in need during their third annual Charity Checkstop in the Enmax Centre parking lot.

There were 490 gifts, 1,326 pounds of food and $1,039 in cash donations received.

Donations were going towards the Christmas Hope Campaign, which is an amalgamation of organizations including the Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree, the Salvation Army, Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank and MyCityCare’s Shop of Wonders.

“We’re gathering toys, non-perishable food items, cash donations for the Christmas Hope Campaign, just to try to help out, help those who are not able to give that back to their family for Christmas this year,” said LPS Cst. Stewart Kambeitz, Charity Checkstop organizer.

“So just to make sure that every kid has a toy for Christmas. It’s important not to miss out on that.”

Kambeitz said it’s tremendous when it comes to the need this year.

“Especially our food bank partners here, they’re feeling the grind not only on their supply, but on the cost of their food items they need to go buy,” said Kambeitz.

“The inflation is just through the roof; the cost of food is through the roof, so it effects everybody. And some families then can’t extend the toys to their kids for the holidays. That’s why the three-step program is so vital — the food, the toys and the cash donations.”

It was only an hour into the event that Kambeitz thought the turnout was better than last year at this time.

“We’re hoping to keep the momentum up and looks like the cars are still flowing through. Yeah, we’re excited to see the result,” he said.

The Interfaith Food Bank was appreciative of the LPS and Search and Rescue for hosting the event.

“We are donating a significant amount of food in a time where we’re in dire need of more and more food, as we’re seeing a real significant increase in the amount of visits that we have at our food bank, as well as the other food bank here in town too,” said Darren Babin, operations lead for the Interfaith Food Bank.

Babin thinks in the first hour the food bank was on track to be ahead of what they received last year— which he estimated was between 600 and 800 pounds in 2021.

The food bank is projected to give out 700-1,000 Christmas hampers this year.

“The Lethbridge Police Service are way and above their call of duty by standing out here in the cold and helping charities this time of year,” said Darrell Kambeitz, the event coordinator’s father.

“They don’t get a lot of appreciation for some of the things they do and this kind of thing, I think it’s super that they’re taking the time and volunteering their time to collect for the needy.”

LPS was joined by both food banks and Search and Rescue in helping collect donations.

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