By Gary Moore
The Kelowna RCMP members see more on their jobs in a short time than most will see in a lifetime but when you witness children in poverty during a grinding recession and on Christmas’s doorstep, they can’t help their emotions getting the best of them.
So, every year the staff at the Kelowna detachment open their hearts and wallets to buy toys for the less fortunate children called “Toys for Tots and give cash for “Adopt a Family” for families to put food on the table.
In a small room on the second floor of the detachment a corner is filled to capacity with loads of toys that would make even Santa blush is Reverend Michael Karabelas, the RCMP chaplain and Inspector Cam Forgues.
Karabelas wearing a RCMP jacket and is retired from the Anglican church exudes calmness and explains the two pronged approach for helping the needy.
“We have two Christmas programs supported by the RCMP members and support staff, one is the toys program which we deliver to the Salvation Army people at the Capri Hotel, they will take over from there and deliver the toys to needy kids around the community,” the soft spoken chaplain told Kelowna.com.
“The second phase is called adopt a family and it’s cash input from members and that cash will go to needy families in town who are down through no fault of their own and try to get them some food and some other items,” Kalabelas added.
Karabelas believes the help is needed even more this year due to the economic downturn.
“Every year people lose jobs but this year seems to be a bumper crop, there are good people out there who are just plain hurting, so we’ll see what we can do, and give them a hand up through a tough time with the adopt a family campaign,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s because of the recession but the members and staff here are digging deep into their pockets to provide these gifts and donations and that is truly heartwarming,” Inspector Forgues said.
“Every kid deserves something under the Christmas tree and everybody needs a smile on Christmas morning,” he added.