New Life outreach worker shares story of gratitude ahead of Thanksgiving

By Jill Sperling
October 4, 2017 - 3:13pm Updated: October 4, 2017 - 5:25pm

KAMLOOPS — Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which means New Life Community Kamloops is once again putting out the call for donations through their Thanksgiving Campaign.

This year, outreach worker Rob Baxter is sharing his story of hope ahead of the non-profit's annual Thanksgiving meal. 

Baxter says he has plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

"The life this place gave me, the people in it, my family," he listed. 

Since his youth, Baxter struggled with addictions, spending $500 a day on the drugs that would eventually damage relationships.

In 2006, he sought help at New Life Community Kamloops.

"I've stumbled a couple times, but these people still believed in me ... I can go to my daughter's place and see my grandson, and stay there and I have friends that truly love me, not because of my money, but because of who I am," Baxter said.

Baxter is now giving to others the kind of support that saved his life, with the desire that others might also be changed through New Life Community. 

The organization is expecting to serve meals to about 300 individuals on Monday. 

"I think these big dinners, this is usually our biggest one, and I think it's because they've gone through a long summer, and it's a social thing," New Life Community Kamloops Executive Director Stan Dueck said. "I mean, we all look forward to Thanksgiving dinners with family, and Christmas dinners. I think it's a chance for people to actually sit down, get a served meal, it will be a full turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and the vegetables, the dessert, the whole bit." 

Dueck says the non-profit struggled over the summer, with many Kamloops residents focusing their time and donations on the wildfire efforts. 

As winter approaches, New Life Community Kamloops is in need of various items.

"We're always in need now for the warmer clothing again, and blankets, and those kinds of things at the Outreach," Dueck said. "Also, stuff like razors, disposable razors, we're always running out of those, shaving cream, you know kind of the toiletry stuff, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes. Those kind of things we give them out 365 days a year, so we always need." 

While the needs often seem endless, those working at New Life Community Kamloops are thankful for the opportunity to help. 

"These people somedays drive me bonkers in the day room," Baxter said. "But, I hope every morning, the next morning when I come in they're all there to do it again."

Donations to the Thanksgiving Campaign can be made at www.newlifekamloops.ca/thanksgiving

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