MONCTON – Once a victim of domestic abuse, one Moncton woman is hoping to turn her into action and save Christmas for families in need.
Amanda Pooley started the program “What Kids Need Moncton,” and is handing out bags of toys to families who can’t afford to buy presents for under their Christmas trees this year.
“We are handing out Christmas presents to as many people as we can that are on our list right now. We have Santa over there ready to hand out the presents to anyone who shows up,” Pooley said Monday.
Pooley started What Kids Needs Moncton almost three years ago. As victims of domestic abuse, she says it was a donated toy that gave her son comfort when they were hiding out at a women’s shelter.
“That was a big comfort for him and I guess I just thought ‘how can I give back to my community in the same way that people helped me when I was going through a difficult time?’” she said.
She started taking in donations of clothing and toys to help victims of domestic violence.
Christmas for hundreds
The program has since blossomed to include donations to everyone and anyone who needs help providing for their kids.
“We certainly still deal with families that come from abusive situations but it certainly is not limited to that,” Pooley said.
Six-year-old Rayne Withers was thrilled to see Santa handing out gifts at the What Kids Need Moncton warehouse on Monday, saying she was going to “have a good Christmas.”
Her mother, Victoria Withers says she is out of work and the program has saved Christmas in their home this year.
“It means a lot to me cause we have been tight lately, and it means a lot that she is going to have a good Christmas,” she said.
Pooley says they will hand out and deliver toys and clothing to about 338 children who are registered this year.
Sam Melanson, who’s had some health problems, says she simply couldn’t afford to buy gifts for her two boys this year.
“It’s excellent they have this, cause we didn’t have a lot this year and to have that available, it helped a lot,” Melanson said.