A local group is holding a donation event in Sarnia to fill the holiday stockings of several youth at The Hub, which could benefit from everyday items.
The group, Together Offering Volunteer Assistance (TOVA), is hosting a bake sale and donation drop-off event at St. Luke’s United Church on Saturday, December 9, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Office Administrator Pauline Henderson-Ferguson said TOVA has been holding these types of events on and off for the past six years. This year, The Hub has 60 stockings to fill, which is the most they've ever had.
"Usually, they're looking for fun things but this year, unfortunately, they're looking for basic necessities like clean socks, clean underwear, mitts, toiletry items, hygiene items," she said.
However, other items such as candy, chocolate, gum, fidget toys, and earbuds would also be appreciated.
Henderson-Ferguson said part of the proceeds from the bake sale will also go to The Hub.
Cash and e-transfers will be accepted during the bake sale. Patrons are asked to bring containers to take home their baked goods. Ornaments created by local youth will also be available to purchase.
The Hub is a safe drop-in space for youth between the ages of 12 and 24.
Program Support Logan Cassista said the hub is seeing the highest number of drop-ins they've ever seen since opening nearly seven years ago.
"We're getting record numbers in our drop-in program and the needs have been extremely high, especially leading into the winter months," Cassista said.
Staff at The Hub will receive community donations throughout the week during regular hours, Monday through Friday. Cassista said the highest needed items are always hygiene products such as shampoo, body wash, and conditioner, as well as socks and underwear.
"We go through those incredibly quickly and we just simply do not get enough to keep up with our kids' needs," Cassista said.
The church and The Hub are located at the intersection of Wellington Street and Indian Road North.