It came down to the wire, but Lethbridge Family Services’ (LFS) Angel Tree Campaign collected enough toys to cover its biggest effort ever.
Just 10 days ago, organizers were desperately seeking donations, with shelves bare and 800 children still in need of Christmas bundles.
“You look at the lists of the children and they’re really simple wishes, it took my breath away I was so upset,” LFS director of advancement and communications Michelle Gallucci said. “So we asked for help and it came in droves.”
The support wasn’t limited to Lethbridge. Angel Tree received donations from around southern Alberta, including places like Pincher Creek, Coaldale and Medicine Hat, ensuring every one of the 3,271 children helped this year will have something under the tree on Dec. 25.
“We needed, for the 800 children alone, thousands of presents to put together their gift bundles, on top of the Adopt-A-Family people, so we did receive thousands of gifts,” Gallucci said.
Lethbridge charities in need of community support to meet holiday demand
For the Lethbridge Food Bank, the lead-up to the holiday season was night and day compared to 2020, being able to hold twice as many events this year. Executive director Mac Nichol said it gave his team a chance to interact with the city, something that has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s great for multiple reasons. Obviously the funds and the food really help us provide our services better, but just being active in our community is something we really strive for,” Nichol said.
“These events really give us an opportunity to be a part of our community.”
The generosity has exceeded Nichol’s expectations, as donations will carry over into the new year.
“We didn’t set a goal, we weren’t really sure how this year was going to look… so we really just wanted to make sure we could cover our bases and move away from that point and really, we just batted it out of the park,” Nichol said. “So many people came forward and even to this day we have people coming in our door, wanting to donate.”
Lethbridge food banks amazed with community support for annual food drive
Showing a spirit of giving has charities in Lethbridge expressing their gratitude.
“I think people gave with memories of their childhood themselves at Christmastime and we are so thankful,” Gallucci said.
“Christmas is a million things to a million different people and for these children, it’s hope.”
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