Staff from the Sylvan Lake Dairy Queen pose with all the donated items from this year’s Angels Anonymous Tree. Popular items among the donations are hockey sticks and dolls. Photo Submitted

Christmas Bureau thankful of community support, generosity

The Christmas Bureau has been helping families in Sylvan Lake for more than 20 years

The 11 volunteer members of the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau have had a busy few weeks preparing holiday baskets for those in need.

The baskets have all been handed out and delivered, each package packed by hand and catered to each individual family.

The Christmas Bureau has been operating in Sylvan Lake for more than 20 years, helping families who are suffering from hard times.

“We help people in our community who don’t have the means right now to provide Christmas for their family,” explained Janine Waldo, a member of the Christmas Bureau.

While the Bureau does not like to say how many families they help every year, Giselle Campbell, co-ordinator for the Christmas Bureau, says the numbers are down this year.

“I think maybe it is a sign the economy is turning around,” said Campbell.

To help bring Christmas and the holidays to those in need in the community, the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau relies on donations and volunteers.

The operation is entirely run by volunteers, says Waldo, which is why they are so grateful to the help given by the community.

“We have a great community here. The people are so giving and have always been so supportive of us,” said Campbell.

The Bureau is supported through individual donations as well as initiatives through businesses in town.

Stores, corporations and private companies are all huge supporters of the Christmas Bureau.

On top of the Charity Check-stop, which took place on Dec. 2 in Sylvan Lake, Campbell says Dairy Queen is also offers a lot of support to the charity.

“They set up the Angels Anonymous tree every year in their restaurant, which brings in a lot of items for us,” Campbell said.

Pam Mitchell, owner of the Sylvan Lake Dairy Queen, says she is always appreciative of the generosity in the Town.

“The community have been very generous and we have regulars who come back every year!,” Mitchell shared in an email.

She added the tree, which has been housed in Dairy Queen for the past 23 years, is a great way to support the Christmas Bureau.

Every year the Angels Anonymous tree brings in a large number of toys for the Bureau, all of which were asked for by the children whose families had signed up. Popular items include hockey sticks and dolls.

This year a toy cat was also donated to Angels Anonymous, which sounded so real staff at Dairy Queen thought it was real.

According to Campbell, sporting equipment is always a welcomed donation to the Bureau.

“We try to put some sort of sporting good in every hamper we send out,” explained Campbell.

Waldo says the Bureau is always looking for more donations for teenagers, of any genders.

“It could be anything from makeup and skin care to sport stuff. Gift cards are also a great option, as many of the teenagers are asking for that now too,” said Waldo.

Campbell said the Bureau is also very grateful to the Ladies Auxiliary who help put together gifts for the moms.

“We love what we do here, and we are so grateful for the support we get from the community and local businesses,” said Campbell.

Many of the volunteers and supporter return each year to lend a hand or give a gift.

The Christmas Bureau also o supports an adopt-a-family format, which is also anonymous. In this an individual, business or group may adopt a family and look after their needs for the Christmas season.

Campbell says each hamper includes food vouchers for a Christmas dinner, gifts for the kids and something small for the parents.

“We support families of all sizes with kids up to age 17,” said Campbell.

Donations to the Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau can be made throughout the year, not just during the holidays. Donations can be dropped off at local toy boxes which can be found at Community Partners, Canadian tire, Community Centre, the library, NexSource Centre, Shoppers and Rexall.



megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The walls were lined with toys, games and movies, all sorted by age group, to be placed into hampers for families signed up through the Christmas Bureau. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Just Posted

Jazz is alive and well in Sylvan Lake with upcoming festival

Jazz at the Lake returns to Sylvan Lake, Aug. 17-19.

Many gather to Chip in for Health Care with annual tournament

The annual golf tournamnet in Sylvan Lake was a fundraiser for the AACS

The Hlinka Cup exhibition game a great success for Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake held an exhibition game for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Aug. 4

Central Alberta Buccaneers come up short against Monarchs

Bucs’ lose star quarterback in heartbreaking affair

Ponoka man faces 95 theft-related charges

Police recover stolen license plates, mail, tools

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Ponoka Traffic Unit investigate scooter incident

A motorcyclist appears to have lost control of her Suzuki scooter on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Stettler woman facing 67 fraud-related charges appears with co-accused

Crown likely proceeding with more serious charge of indictable offence

Wetaskiwin Co-op robbed of laser tool, propane torch

Wetaskiwin RCMP attempting to identify two individuals involved in numerous thefts

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

Most Read