by Mercedes Fawns
The holidays are here and that means many of us will be spending time with friends and family in the coming weeks. Some of us will be shopping for that perfect gift, or getting ready for the next Christmas party with our spouse’s coworkers. Daylight is short, hot chocolate seems in abundance and there is a beautiful display of lights on nearly every block.
But the holidays are not simply a time for indulgence, they are also for giving.
There are thousands of families in Southern Alberta that need help with toys, warm clothing and wholesome food to eat at this time of year. So, in the spirit of things, we have compiled a list of giving opportunities running in Lethbridge from now until the end of December. Check it out, volunteer or donate to the charity of your choice, and get into the spirit of giving this year!
Stockings of Hope
This annual campaign by the YWCA Lethbridge & District allows women and children in need in our area the opportunity to receive gifts during the holiday season. Residents and businesses can adopt a stocking from the YWCA until Dec. 16, 2016.
Gift Wrapping with Volunteer Lethbridge
Support one of our local not-for-profits with the Annual Holiday Gift Wrapping Program. Get your gifts wrapped for a small fee or sign up to volunteer and do the wrapping yourself! You can find them by the Sears in the Park Place Shopping Centre until Dec. 24, 2016.
Angel Tree for Kids 2016
Once again Lethbridge Family Services is offering the Angel Tree for Kids program. Simply pick up an angel decoration off of a tree at select locations and purchase an appropriate gift for the age of the child on the decoration. You can also make monetary donations or volunteer to help with wrapping and gift deliveries! This program helps thousands of children in need in Southern Alberta. The collection runs until Dec. 16, 2016.
Tubs With Toys
The staff at EMCO Ensuite Bath and Kitchen Showroom is challenging Lethbridge residents and businesses to fill showroom tubs with toys this holiday season. Simply head to the showroom and put an unwrapped gift inside one of the tubs. EMCO will accept donations until Dec. 14, 2016 and will then give the proceeds to local charities including the YWCA and Lethbridge Family Services. With your donation you enter to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards!
Family Centre Society of Southern Alberta is once again running Santa photos at the Centre Village Mall. Proceeds go towards programs and services at Family Centre. Show your support by getting a photo with friends and family, or volunteering as one of Santa’s helpers. Runs until Dec. 24, 2016.
The Lethbridge Food Bank and Interfaith Food Bank have joined forces with the Salvation Army to make sure that residents in Lethbridge get what they need this Christmas. These groups expect to serve more than 2200 households this year and need your help with donations including toys, food, and warm clothing.
As part of this campaign, Coast Spas Lethbridge invites community members to fill the hot tubs in their showroom with food and toy donations to add to the collection! Donate to Christmas Hope and Enter to win $500 Gift Card. For more information about Coast Spas, call 403-394-9963 or visit www.coastspaslethbridge.com.
Also contributing to Christmas Hope – local Loblaw stores, Real Canadian Superstore, Troy’s No Frills, Simon’s No Frills, and Real Canadian Wholesale Club will kick off the Loblaw Companie’s National Holiday Food Drive running until Dec. 24, to support food banks across the country. Lethbridge residents are invited to donate non-perishable goods at the check-out of any of these locations.
Heralding Hope Festival 2016
This one-day festival gives Lethbridge residents the opportunity to stuff a sock for those in need. On Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. head to Streets Alive Mission and fill a sock for only $20! Enjoy free hot apple cider and holiday goodies.
In the spirit of the season, the Canadian Yoga Institute is giving out $40 unlimited passes for the month of December with all proceeds going to the Toys for Tots program. Staff will also accept toys and $10 donations on a drop-in basis. The last day for toy donations is Dec. 16, 2016.
Skating for Giving
Bring a new, unwrapped toy to this Lethbridge Skating Club exhibition and receive free admission to the event. Enjoy an exciting even program for a good cause. You can even help out by volunteering at the event! Donations will be made to the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots Campaign.
Do you have an event to add? Email [email protected] and we’ll get it added to our list.