For almost a quarter decade the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau has been serving the needs of the community to ensure all Lakers share the joy of the holiday season, regardless of financial barriers.
“I think it’s important to ensure that everyone in our community is able to have a great Christmas. So far, this year looks very similar to previous years. So, the need for donations will also be similar to other years.
“We usually help close to 100 families every year,” said Janine Waldo, chairperson for Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau.
The non-profit organization is set up to offer holiday presents including gift cards, a small gift for parents, and stocking stuffers to those in need.
Waldo said, “The Christmas Bureau helps families with children 17 years of age or younger living in Sylvan Lake who are needing assistance during the holidays. We provide gifts for the children, Sobeys gift cards for the family to purchase their own food for the holidays, a small gift for the parents, and stocking stuffers.”
Each year, community individuals and organizations come together to gather toys for redistribution and fundraise for the cause.
Waldo said, “We are extremely fortunate, as we have fabulous support from the community. We have a few small businesses in town that donate toys or money as well as lots of families who support us.”
Snake Lake Brewing Co. in collaboration with Hawkeye Line Locators raised $1,865 through a Charity Drive and silent auction in support of the Christmas Bureau this year.
Alliance Community Church is one of the locations where donations can be dropped off for this initiative. Steffie Woima Elementary School is also conducting a toy drive from Dec. 7, to Dec. 9, before and after school in their back bus loop in support of the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau. Additionally, the Angels Anonymous tree has been set up at the local Dairy Queen restaurant with lists of items required by the Christmas Bureau.
Sylvan Lake Fire Department, Municipal Enforcement, R.C.M.P., Legion, and Rotary International have teamed up for the Annual Charity Checkstop for Sylvan Lake Food Bank and Christmas Bureau scheduled Dec. 11 on 47 Ave. between McDonald’s and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp is also one of several local organizations fundraising in support of the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau through their third annual Christmas Bureau fundraiser Dec. 10.
Those in need of assistance can sign-up for the program until Dec. 16. For registration and further details visit www.sylvanlakechristmasbureau.com.
Waldo hopes the community will continue to contribute to another successful year for the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau.