‘Tis the season to support the community.
As Christmas draws closer, it’s time for the Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services Community Christmas Campaign.
The Community Christmas Campaign consists of three FCSS programs; New Coats for Kids, Santa’s Anonymous and the Christmas Food Certificate Fund.
Jan Pocock, volunteer and community services coordinator for FCSS, said that the campaign is only possible through the support of the community.
“All of this is based on the generosity of our amazing community.”
New Coats for Kids is a program through which eligible families can obtain funds to purchase new winter wear for their children.
Families apply based on income, number of children and ages of those children for funding and then decide which items of winter clothing they want to spend the money on.
Santa’s Anonymous is a program done jointly with the Lacombe Kinsmen. Kinsmen collect the toys and monetary donations and then organize toys based on the age, gender and wishes of eligible children, put together the best matches for that list and then have the toys delivered to their homes by Santa.
The Christmas Food Certificates Fund allows eligible families to acquire gift certificates that allow them to buy the food of their choice for the Christmas season from local grocery stores.
“We want to empower our clients,” said Pocock. “Everybody has the right to choose what works for their family in their home.”
Last year, 18 families received new winter wear from New Coats for Kids, 85 families received Christmas gifts from Santa’s Anonymous and 496 clients benefited from the Christmas Food Certificates Fund.
Pocock said that the goal is to for everyone, regardless of social status or financial standing, to have a happy holiday.
“We want everybody to enjoy the Christmas season.” Pocock added that Christmas is the time of year where FCSS clients depend more on their programs. As such, FCSS depends more on the community for support.
Thankfully, it’s also something Pocock said is far from lacking in Lacombe. She said the community has always supported the campaign and truly understands its importance. “We have great hearts and we understand that everyone has the right to enjoy this season regardless of the situation and everyone wants to help out their neighbour, period. It blows my mind every year, the generosity.”
Donations for any of these programs can be made at the FCSS office in the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
For Santa’s Anonymous, there are also bins for toy donations set up around the City. Pocock said that both monetary and toy donations are accepted. She added that donations for teen and pre-teen gifts are particularly needed as these age groups are the most difficult to buy for and are often overlooked in such Christmas gift campaigns.
“All children deserve to have a wonderful present under the tree.”
In addition to encouraging those who can to make a donation to FCSS’s Community Christmas Campaign, Pocock also encouraged anyone needing a little bit of help this season to visit the FCSS office.