Santa’s Helpers expect record year

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Young families and other less fortunate people in High Prairie will celebrate Christmas with special vouchers offered from the Children’s Resource Council.
Santa’s Little Helpers will provide food vouchers and toys, as well as vouchers for seniors and adult singles in need, CAO Naal Sharkawi says.
“The hampers will be filled with gifts and vouchers,” he says.
“This gives families the ability to pick what they want for Christmas dinners.”
Vouchers are redeemable at Freson Bros.
“They play a large part in our program and have been dedicated supporters for many years.”
Santa’s Helpers delivered 52 hampers in 2021 and the CRC expects demand will be higher.
“We are estimating an increase,” Sharkawi says.
“Numbers from across the country have increased in respect to access to food banks.
“We understand that times are tough for many families and others and we want to help as many people in need through our Santa’s Little Helpers program.”
The CRC has a goal to provide vouchers and gifts to a record number of seniors this year, he says.
“Although we may be the Children’s Resource Council, we are a member of the community and want to continue to support everyone we can.”
He also trusts people in the community will be generous to support those in need.
“High Prairie and area citizens have always been amazing at contributing to Santa’s Little Helpers,” Sharkawi says.
“We hope to see more businesses and corporations participate this year.
“Every little bit helps.”
The deadline for people to apply for hampers is Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.
Vouchers and toys will be delivered Dec. 23 from 1-4 p.m.
Applications are available at the Children’s Centre at 4709 – 51 Ave. or online on the CRC website at www.hpdcrc.ca.
Donations of unwrapped toys are also being accepted under Angel Trees at Revolution Ford and Chevrolet. Toys and monetary donations may also be delivered at the Children’s Centre.
Individuals, families, businesses and organizations are invited to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program.
Sponsorships will provide a family, senior or individual in need with a Christmas meal grocery voucher.
Donors also have an option to include gifts for children and youth in the family.
The deadline for donations is Dec. 14,
“We will continue to accept donations following that as wrapping and packing will be in process the following week leading up to Christmas,” Sharkawi says.
Specifically, vouchers and toys were distributed to 38 families last year that included 51 parents and caregivers and 105 children and youth.
Other hampers were handed out to seven seniors and six single adults.
The program had one Adopt-a-Family sponsor for 2021.
In 2020, Santa’s Little Helpers delivered just 20 hampers, that served 15 families with 41 children and five households without children.
In 2019, the CRC distributed 31 hampers, which included 20 families with 46 children and 11 households without children.
Monetary donations may be mailed to the Children’s Resource Council; P. O. Box 888; High Prairie, AB; T0G 1E0.

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