Local group in Vermilion that runs Santa’s Anonymous forced to change things up.
In order to meet government regulations, the Vermilion Lions Club is opting to hand out a selection of gift cards instead of toys for their annual Santa Anonymous program.
Last year, food and toy parcels were delivered to nearly 75 families.
Running over 40 years, the program is well recognized in the community receiving several donations and volunteers each year.
“I am very thankful that we live in a community where we pull together to help others,” said Lions member Pat Calyniuk.
“Due to COVID-19, we are going to run Santa’s Anonymous differently this year. We will not be accepting toys but gift cards, cheques and cash.”
The plan is to make envelopes with food gift cards, a turkey gift card, and gift cards for toys that they will mail to recipients, allowing recipients to go and buy the presents. Calyniuk said this way they are not going to people’s homes, handling food and toys, and having volunteers work in close quarters with one another.
Santa Anonymous serves the communities of Vermilion, Mannville, Minburn, Clandonald and Isley.
Registration forms will be available at the beginning of November at schools, churches, town offices, Alberta Works, and businesses where collection boxes are located.
Donations can be dropped off at CIBC bank and students from J.R. Robson School are making wooden collection boxes to be put out at additional locations in November.
The deadline for applicants will move up to November 25, and gift card envelopes will be mailed to recipients the first week of December.
Overall the whole scope of the project remains the same, with an effort to bring joy to families in the community.