Church members come through with ‘unexpected Christmas challenge’

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.—Christmas 2018 was a little merrier for residents of Kinghaven Treatment Centre, a 62-bed treatment centre helping men recover from substance abuse and addiction, and the George Schmidt Centre, a second-stage housing facility for men wishing to continue their recovery journey, thanks to members of Level Ground Mennonite Church. For the past several years, Level Ground has been distributing Christmas gift packages to a hundred residents of both facilities, located right next door to the church, and a local Tim Hortons franchise had supplied gift cards to include in the packages. A few days before the church was going to give the gifts to the residents late last year, organizers found out Tim Hortons’ partnership in this program would not be happening in 2018. Organizers put out a plea on Facebook for help from the congregation, and Level Ground responded in a big way. “Thanks to everyone who helped out with our ‘Unexpected Christmas challenge,’ ” said a Facebook posting the next day. “Within 24 hours, we had collected 120 Tim Hortons cards for the guys . . . as well as enough money to buy a chocolate bar to also include in each gift bag. You are amazing!” —By Amy Dueckman

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