Fourteen years ago, Cliff Power gave 25 stockings to people in need before serving them a Christmas dinner of steak and perogies at the Holiday Court Motel.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the executive director of Extreme Outreach Society now gives out 1,000 stockings delivered every year through the Warm-a-Soul Stocking Challenge.
Some 10,000 stockings have gone to people in need since 1998, but the experience of handing over a sock stuffed with goodies isn’t lost on Power.
“It’s phenomenal,” Power said. “There are lots of tears. Some people wait for us.”
The group delivers the stockings to a variety of organizations around the Capital Region, including PEERS and the local detox clinic.
“These are the people who don’t usually get anything.”
Anyone up to helping Extreme Outreach this Christmas can go to Extremeoutreach.com to learn how to tailor appropriate gifts for kids, women and men – who usually receive the least amount of donations.
Men’s stockings begin with a pair of thick wool socks and are stuffed with personal items among other things. Women and children receive red Christmas stockings – the women’s are filled with personal items while the kids’ usually contain toys and candy.
Each stocking costs about $20 to make. Completed stockings, or cheques made payable to Extreme Outreach Society, can be dropped off by Dec. 15 at the Extreme Outreach office, 999 McKenzie Ave., or at Serious Coffee locations at 1153 Esquimalt Rd. and 1701 Island Hwy.
Along with the stockings comes a slightly more traditional holiday meal than Power’s initial steak and perogies plate. A full turkey dinner is served on Dec. 17, at 1 p.m., in the North Douglas Church, 675 Jolly Pl.
Volunteers are urgently needed for the meal and celebration.
For more information, contact Extreme Outreach online or at 250-384-2064.