Skip to main content

Volunteers pack hundreds of Christmas hampers for Lytton, B.C., residents


You could call it organized chaos.

A church in Langley, B.C., temporarily turned its sanctuary into a warehouse stacked with more than 22,000 kilograms of food.

“It was full and it was moving and had forklifts driving through,” said Pastor Paul Olson of SouthRidge Fellowship Church.

It was all part of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers this week to try and make Christmas a little brighter for the people of Lytton and the surrounding area, who were hard hit by last year’s catastrophic wildfire.

Volunteers spent hours packing 550 hampers with everything from cookies to cereal to soup.

“That was really important to me to show that we can all really come together to help out because that’s what we’re called to do,” said volunteer Penny Werdal, a Grade 10 student at Langley Christian High School.

With church donations, the food was purchased, much of it at cost, through a local FreshCo store.

After the hampers were finished, they were loaded into a semi-truck and driven to the Lytton area.

“They have no grocery store, no supplies, they have nothing. Everything has to keep being brought in and that’s when we realized they need extra help,” Olson said.

Most of the Village of Lytton was burned to the ground in June of 2021 along with dozens of homes on the Lytton First Nation. Then another wildfire in July of 2022 burned at least six homes on First Nations land.

Olson saw Lytton’s losses firsthand after travelling to the area earlier this year when his church was involved in another donation effort.

“I think the part that struck me the most was the total devastation,” he said.

In the village, cleanup continues from the 2021 fire. Rebuilding hasn’t even begun.

RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

Olson said his church stepped in to provide hampers after being asked for help from a charitable group from the Lytton area.

“It was just a wonderful opportunity for us to express God’s love,” Olson said. Top Stories

Stay Connected