Hearts overflow for Santas Anonymous

Pictured: Community Lions members Diane Peifer (left) and Susan Frisby (right) accept food from Doris Pindroch at Elk Point Elementary School

All our hearts feel light when we can help others. This year’s Santas Anonymous, sponsored by the Community Lions of Elk Point, has lifted and brightened spirits by providing gifts and food hampers to 48 local families.

The Santas Anonymous headquarters was a beehive of activity for two weeks prior to the December 15 pick up date. Volunteers sorted and wrapped gifts, dropped off toques and mitts, transported “Good-Buy to Hunger” bags from the Elk Point Co-op to the distribution centre, sorted food into hampers, and shopped for items to fill the Christmas boxes.

Most of the gifts were donated through corporate Christmas parties or placed in the drop-boxes situated in various Elk Point businesses. To ensure no child went without a gift, the Community Lions purchased some gifts with cash donated through the Community Christmas Card campaign or from direct donations. Customers to the Cornerstone Co-op in Elk Point purchased and contributed 212 “Good-Buy to Hunger” grocery bags, and the Co-op provided 10kg bags of flour and 10kg bags of sugar plus boxes of candies for each family.

Families and individuals were nominated by friends, family, church, or school, or registered themselves with FCSS. The recipients were issued a number, meaning the Lions volunteers only saw the assigned number accompanied by the ages of the children.

A Community Effort

The Santas Anonymous campaign was supported by a number of local individuals and groups, including crafters who hand-knit or crocheted scarves, mittens and toques; community service groups such as the Lions, Elks, and Royal Purple. Organizations like Elk Point Elementary School, Elk Point Community Choir, and St. Michael’s Catholic Church who collected food and toys at events. Businesses including ATB and Servus Credit Union who both set up Trees of Warmth, CNRL which provided funds and toys, Windsor Salt for school supplies, Lakeland Realty for school supplies and treat bags, Rona for batteries, Enbridge, Hahn Welding, JPD Enterprises, Jonny’s Electrical, E-Can, Wanda Lynn’s Body Shoppe for providing gift bags for moms, and Dr. Oyebode for cash donations.

Thank you to sponsors

Special recognition goes to Cornerstone Co-op for the flour, sugar, and candy boxes that were added to the regular Santas groceries, as well as for coordinating the “Good-Buy to Hunger” bags; Further Ed for use of their building; the FCSS program assistant for contacting families; the Elk Point 4-H Beef Club for packing food into the packages; volunteer sorters and wrappers who gave their evenings and weekends to lighten the load; and all the anonymous Santas who donated to the Christmas Card on the bulletin board beside the post office, the toy boxes that were around town, or the Hunger Bags.

Generosity, community, humility and the Christmas spirit are alive and well in the Elk Point area! In producing and distributing the Santas Anonymous Christmas hampers, Community Lions were privileged to share the sincere gratitude expressed by our neighbours for what we have, what we can give, and what we receive.