Christmas remains the busiest time of year for The Olive Tree. Becky Schille, Executive Director of The Olive Tree, says their needs are consistent throughout the year but intensify for the Christmas season.
“We support 29 other charities in the community with food for their various programs. So we go through a lot of food and that’s always a big deal, and every little bit helps,” says Schille.
Their thrift store also supports their food program. Donations to the thrift store are useful all year round for them to sell for their charity support or provide free to people who are in need.
“It’s a great little program. It’s also our open door to the community, so if people have needs they know where they can go six days a week and find someone to talk to and be supported.”
The Olive Tree also registered as a food bank this summer through Food Banks Canada. They provide emergency food hampers to those in need.
They accept food donations and run through lunch and snack items the most. But that doesn’t mean they won’t accept fresh produce either.
“We’re able to take produce and dairy and things like that, and distribute it into the community the same day. So, all kinds of things we can definitely use.”
Their needs definitely stay after the holiday season. Winter gear, fresh underwear and socks seem to be something they always run low on.
“Winter jackets, winter boots we never seem to get enough of. I think in Canada we like to wear our winter boots out,” says Schille.
Regardless, the staff at The Olive Tree are always thankful to be in such a supportive community.
“We have so much work to do in December, and we need so many different things and so many different volunteers. We’re always blown away by how not only is it provided, and then some. Today especially, it’s only two days left for us and we’re just thinking about how thankful we are to live in a community that’s so supportive.”