The campaign coordinator for the Christmas for Everyone campaign says the need remains high.
During the kickoff luncheon at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Petrolia on Tuesday, Brian McManaman said the group is "rapidly approaching" the 402 families (approximatley 1,500 people) that they helped with food and gifts last Christmas season.
Although the deadline for help "officially" expired late last month, the applications just keep arriving and McManaman said they will do their utmost to ensure that all who qualify are given a helping hand.
The campaign covers most of Lambton County, east of Mandaumin Road and north into Lambton Shores.
McManaman said gifts are given to children from infants to 16 years old, but it's always a challenge to come up with enough gifts for young teenagers between 13 and 16 years old.
Anyone who wishes to drop off food, gifts or cash donations can do so at the New Life Assemly Church in Petrolia or at the Toy Depot, next to Sam's Restaurant in Wyoming.
Cash donations can also be made at the Scotiabank in Petrolia.
Those wishing to volunteer with packing can come by New Life Assembly Church in Petrolia during regular business hours next Monday, Dec. 13, Tuesday, Dec. 14, or Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Local firefighters and other volunteer drivers will deliver the Christmas hampers on Thursday, Dec. 16.
When asked why he continues to give his time to the project, the one-time Petrolia mayor said he just likes helping people.
"We all need a little help every now and then," he said.
The luncheon, which drew the largest crowd in its six-year history, is sponsored by the Legion's Ladies Auxilliary and the Petrolia Rotary Club.
Local restaurants provided the soup and the LCCVI band supplied the music.
McManaman said a "great bunch of volunteers" from all walks of life makes the campaign possible.