24 FOCUS - JANUARY 2018 On November 30, the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation part- nered up with two of it’s best local supporters, The Old Flame Brewing Company and Vos’ Independent, to launch their annual Holiday Hope gift hamper program. Started a decade ago, the program matches deserving families and youth under the care of the Children’s Aid Society with donors who are interested in making a difference in the lives of those who need it over the Christmas season. This year’s event managed to cover five local families and one youth-in-care, doubling last year’s contribution. “Last year”, says Sian Gibson, Executive Director at the DCAF, “we distributed hampers to over 700 families across Durham throughout December. Families are referred to the program through their social workers and include an age-specific toy, an item of new clothing and a food voucher for a local grocery store.” The impact is enormous not just because of the help they receive from generous donors but also be- cause it gives them a ray of light at an otherwise difficult time of year. “There really is nothing better,” says Gibson, “than seeing people light up when you deliver them a Christmas gift and they realize that people in the community care about them. It really is the truest meaning of the Christmas season.” Spreading Christmas Cheer with Cheese and Beer L-R: Terry and Christine Vos of Vos’ Independent Grocer; Laura Francis, local trustee of DCAF; Sian Gibson, Executive Director DCAF; Sherri Doak and Shawn La Rue, both owners of Old Flame Brewing Co. Beer and cheese pairing – for a great cause. The gift of giving! Some lucky people won door prizes. PHOTOS BY MARYANN FLEMING