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Community Groups Sharing The Spirit of Christmas

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

Multiple families will get to enjoy Christmas this year thanks to different members of the community.

The Facebook group ‘YMM Helping Others’ put the call out for people to lend a helping hand for others who may be struggling ahead of the holiday season.

Co-admin for the group Lynne Stefanizyn tells Mix News there were 71 families nominated and within nine days they were all sponsored.

“It just brings joy to your heart that you are helping that many people – I wish we could have helped everyone that applied but we had to cap it off at something.”

Last year, the group was able to help 50 families and the previous year they provided a little Christmas spirit to 64 families.

Each of the sponsors will buy gifts, wrap them, and send them off to the Facebook group admins who will deliver them to the families.

Stefanizyn says they’re still hoping others volunteer to help. They’re still accepting cash and gift cards to buy food for hampers they’ll be providing the families as well.

“We all have our own little stashes where people will just kind of drop them off to us wanting to be anonymous – so any kind of gift card, we’re still accepting.”

She notes other families were nominated but unfortunately they couldn’t help everyone. However, their information has been forwarded to either the Salvation Army of Santas Anonymous.

Santas Anonymous

Santas Anonymous is back for another year of gift giving to the less fortunate.

The student-led initiative – run out of Father Mercredi High School – has been active since 1984, providing families with children a chance to enjoy Christmas in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Assistant Lead and student James Sawchuk tells Mix News he decided to join because he wanted the chance to give back.

“What really inspired me to get involved was a story my grandmother told me when I had lunch with her one time – when she first moved here she actually benefited from Santas Anonymous, so that changed the way I thought about it and made me want to help out.”

Donations can be dropped off at Father Mercredi from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Some of the donations they’re hoping for include toys for children aged 1 – 12,¬†gifts for babies or senior citizens, gift cards for teens, and monetary donations.

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