Santa’s Anonymous group prepares for season

With the Christmas season not much more than a few calendar weeks away, Santa’s elves are already hard at work making sure everyone

With the Christmas season not much more than a few calendar weeks away, Santa’s elves are already hard at work making sure everyone enjoys a happy holiday.

The Santa’s Anonymous committee from Alder Flats, Buck Lake and Winfield wants to help the less fortunate families in the area.

“The group’s mandate is to help make the Christmas season better for our local families, those who maybe don’t have the means to put a Christmas dinner on the table or buy gifts for their children,’ said committee member Marian Whitby.

The group is collecting non-perishable food items, unwrapped gifts and monetary donations throughout the three communities.

“There will be donation boxes and tins at a variety of businesses and schools in the area and we would be grateful for any donations you feel would be appropriate,’ said Whitby.

Individuals and companies in the area are generous, although the committee ends up purchasing some staples to ensure hampers are stocked with necessary staples such as cereal and flour. Perishable items including a turkey or ham, potatoes, buns and Christmas oranges are added prior to delivery.

The hampers are not only a wonderful treat for Christmas, they are filled with food which should last throughout December, which may be a financially difficult month for some families.

Included with the food are basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and gloves or socks. And tucked away, in the brightly coloured boxes, are gifts for each family member.

The Santa’s Anonymous committee does its best to ensure anyone who needs help receives it. Recipients are referred via self-referrals, social agencies, schools and churches. The group encourages anyone who knows of someone who needs extra help to call Louis Gilbertson at 780-682-2388 or Marian Whitby at 780-388-3774 no later than the first week of December.

Donation boxes will be picked up around the middle of December.

Whitby said recipients of the Santa Anonymous hampers fluctuate each year.

“There are always people out there who don’t have enough and that’s where we come in. We are just a few people trying to make things better and brighter. We don’t want to offend anyone. We just want to help. Everything is very confidential,” she added.