Kai and Julia with help from mom Ashley and dad Matthew, gave out 200 bags of home cooked goodies. (Facebook)

Kai and Julia with help from mom Ashley and dad Matthew, gave out 200 bags of home cooked goodies. (Facebook)

Penticton family hands out 200 treat bags to neighbours

The Smethursts are also making Christmas meals for anyone who needs it

It took two days, three trips with wagons and two excited kids to deliver 200 treat bags and some much-needed holiday cheer to Penticton neighbourhoods.

The random act of kindness took place on Nov. 22 and 23 by the Smethurst family of four who went all around their neighbourhood, dropping off bags full of home-cooked cookies, kettle corn and more, just to spread some joy when people might need it the most.

“We did this last year but only on our street,” said Ashley Smethurst, mom and organizer of the random acts of kindness.

This time they did 200 goodie baskets with four different treats inside, a bag of reindeer chow, a bag of kettle corn, two chocolate chip cookies each and a rice crispy square.

“My kids loved doing it,” she said. “By the end all our legs were sore and we were exhausted!”

“Christmas is about giving and this year is definitely important to put smiles on faces. Our family enjoy the feeling of giving,” said Smethurst. “Doing something for others warms your heart.”

The Smethursts family photo 2020.

The Smethursts family photo 2020.

It was Ashley, her husband Matthew, son Kai and daughter Julia who handed out the treats to homes. The response was one of cheer, some thanking the Smethursts for brightening their day and outlook on this difficult year.

One person said “thank you so much for this special treat, so yummy too. I swear my heart grew sizes.”

Another person said they would carry the kindness forward.

The Smethursts plan on spreading even more cheer this holiday season.

Maybe you remember this family from last December when they invited strangers into their home to spend Christmas with them. Ashley took to several Penticton Facebook pages asking anyone who would otherwise spend Christmas alone to join their family.

READ MORE: Family opens home to strangers for Christmas

“We wanted to invite people to Christmas dinner again this year, but obviously that can’t happen,” she added.

This year, due to COVID-19 measures, the dinner will be take home only.

Last year, they had a couple people join them in their home for Christmas dinner and they also fed 56 people with take home dinners. They will be offering take home dinners again this year.

So how does she make all those meals?

Ashley loves to cook and her husband used to work as a chef.

“We use our oven and our neighbour’s Nanna Dee to make all the Christmas meals.”

“2020 might be a horrible year but our spirits are still high, opening our hearts and bringing some cheer.”

If you have a family member, a neighbour in need of a Christmas meal, please feel welcome to pick up a dinner for them as well as for yourself, she said.

“Let those who need it know or those hungry, or those who are just plain lonely or don’t want to cook a big meal for one or two people… share the love, share the season and fill up some bellies… Everyone has a story, a past and a future. Let’s leave no one out.”

Ashley will be posting the dinner menu at the beginning of December and they already have some friends chipping in to make goodies to hand out to neighbourhoods.

“Please don’t be afraid to message me so we have an idea how much to make for Christmas.”

You can contact Ashley Smethurst on her Facebook page.

COVID safety measures will be in place at all times, she said.

“No one deserves to be alone or hungry on Christmas,” Ashley said.

READ MORE: Community saves Zippy, the dog



monique.Tamminga@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Person experiencing homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)
Program preventing youth homelessness launches in Kelowna

Upstream Project’s goal is to help young people become more resilient

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read