The holidays are swiftly approaching as shops gradually fill with shoppers searching for potential gifts, holiday merchandise, and festive foods.

As it's a time for giving to loved ones, it is the time of year to help fellow community members who are less fortunate during the holidays.

Christmas Hampers will make their 54th appearance in Kindersley starting on December 1st and running until December 21st at the Kindersley Mall.

The charity project, which is organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kindersley Branch with the Heartland Health Region, collects donations from the public and delivers them to low-income families.

Organizers partner with local community groups such as the West Central Crisis Centre, Salvation Army, food banks, and community-based groups who focus on food security.

"[The hampers] consist of 1 week's worth of groceries, Christmas oranges, and toys for the kids from Santa," explained Pam Welter, director and coordinator of the CMHA Kindersley Branch. "December 21st is the day the participants can come pick up their hamper."

Low-income families whom live in communities within the Heartland Health Region are eligible for the program. People will have to apply ahead of time in order to receive a hamper.

The program is a staple in the region which brings the community support at a time families celebrate togetherness, love, and charity.

"In 1962, it started with veterans' families. So there was about 8 hampers, and it's grown to 158 hampers," explained Welter. "There was about 260 kids last year that received gifts from Santa."

Residents are encouraged to contribute with non-perishable food donations from December 1st to the 15th. Welter encourages donors to check expiry dates on food items as people have donated expired food in the past.

Monatery donations are accepted as well until the 21st at the hamper facility in the mall. Donors can receive a tax deductible receipt for donations made over $50.