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Sundre Santas program spreads holiday spirit

Hamper registration forms available until Dec. 3
santa's workshop
Young volunteers helped to organize Santa’s Workshop, located in the former Sundre Motors building during last year's campaign. File photo/MVP Staff

SUNDRE - Elves have recently been ramping up their efforts at Santa's Workshop in support of the annual Sundre Santas program.

For the second year in a row, the workshop is back at the former Sundre Motors building, said Cherie Johnson, the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society’s children, youth and family coordinator as well as Sundre Santas organizer. Susan Brace is also back to coordinate efforts at the workshop, Johnson added.

“It is open,” she said, adding available times depend on when tasks become available. A sign will be placed out front to indicate when the workshop is open, she said.  

However, she added that contributions of either non-perishable food products, lightly used gift items, and financial donations could also be delivered at the GNP office, located around the western side of the Sundre Community Centre building.

“We’re accepting donations at Greenwood Neighbourhood Place during business hours,” she said.

Registration forms and collection bins for the hamper program became available earlier this month, and will remain available to the public until Tuesday, Dec. 3, she said.

Organizational efforts began behind the scenes back in September, but momentum really ramps up following Remembrance Day, she said.

“Things are picking up steam,” she said a couple of weeks ago.

Hampers are expected to be available from Dec. 16-18. While the packages can in some exceptions be delivered, people who registered to receive one generally pick them up, she said.

“There isn’t a whole lot of hampers that get delivered,” she said, adding, “(Under) special circumstances, we of course can accommodate those.”

So while volunteers are not sought to help with hamper deliveries, Johnson said additional helping hands are always welcome to assist with other tasks such as sorting through donations and preparing hampers.  

Anyone who is interested in volunteering can call GNP at 403-638-1011 to be included on a list, and as jobs come up, Johnson said she sends out a request to those on the list to see who might be available. Keeping an eye out on social media, she added, is another way to watch for volunteer opportunities.

Other events connected to Sundre Santas include the rebranded and rescheduled myGNP Charity Check Stop, the annual 4-H food drive that had been scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24, as well as the Magic of Christmas Sale, set for Saturday, Dec. 14 as a chance for kids to find affordable gifts for a couple of bucks, and the bake sale, to be held the same day from noon to 5 p.m., she said.

“We will be doing it this year at the Sundre Community Centre,” she said about the Magic of Christmas and bake sale.

“The Sundre Santas program assists individuals, families, and seniors in our community by spreading holiday cheer,” states GNP’s monthly Sundre on the Go newsletter.

“GNP spearheads local initiatives and provides a variety of programs throughout the year, enhancing quality of life for Sundre and area residents.”