A popular Christmas song declares the holiday season to be, “The most wonderful time of the year.”
While it is wonderful in many ways, it can also be a difficult time for families in need. Food banks often struggle to meet the added demand that comes annually at Christmastime.
On Nov. 29th, members of the Lacombe 2nd LDS and Lacombe 1st scout troops organized and participated in a food drive Christmas parade collecting more than 520 kg of food that was delivered to the Lacombe Community Food Bank.
The Christmas parade featured a float with a tent, a fireless campfire, scout flags, Christmas music and a guest of honour – Santa himself.
Scouts went door to door collecting food and children around Lacombe came out to see Santa and get a candy cane.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Teddy Wilson, a 12-year-old scout from Lacombe County. “I think Santa was the best part. I liked it when children waved at Santa or came right over to give him a high five or take a picture.”
It isn’t often that both troops get together to participate in an activity and the Scouts felt good about the service they were providing.
“There are people in our community who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Jonas Muise, an 11-year-old Scout from Lacombe.
“We had a lot of fun putting on the food drive parade and it felt good to know we were sharing the Christmas spirit and helping families that need it.”
The Lacombe 2nd LDS Scouts started the Christmas Food Drive Parade in 2010 and it has been running for the past seven years.
“It was an idea based on a Scout community service project that was done in St. Albert for many years, when my sons were in scouting,” said Greg Kite, Red Deer LDS Scout Area Commissioner.
“We are so grateful for the support of the community and especially the Lacombe Police Service who provided a police escort to make sure the scout volunteers were safe.”
In the end, the 2017 Scout Christmas Food Drive Parade was the most successful to date, officials noted.
A record amount of food was collected for families and individuals in need. The best part was that local youth were reminded to think about the needs of others – something their Scout leaders hope will encourage them to pursue greater service opportunities in their future lives.
-submitted by Debbie Olsen