Christmas Spirit Campaign readies for holiday season

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Canmore’s Christmas Spirit Campaign is working to make the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year for Canmore, Exshaw and Morley residents.

“At the Bow Valley Christmas Sprit Campaign, we believe Christmas is a time for dignity, compassion and caring for community,” said Lynne Hately, board chair. “We invite you to join us in supplying hampers of groceries and toys to those living in Canmore, Exshaw and Morley who could use a bit of holiday support.”

Those facing financial struggles at this time of year should apply for a hamper by Dec. 8. All information will remain confidential and applications can be picked up at the FCSS Resource Centre, Crossway Thrift store, local schools and churches, by visiting the campaign website www.christmasspiritcampaign.com or calling 403-609-3536.

For those wishing to volunteer or donate, a number of options are available again this year. The Royal LePage Food Drive is Thursday (Nov. 30) starting at 5:30 pm. Volunteers will canvass the community looking for food donations for the hampers.

“Every year we have an issue with donated food that is past its expiry date,” said Hately. “This year we are asking people to please throw expired food away. A cash donation or nothing at all is preferable to one that cannot be used.

“Healthy and fresh foods are our priority. While canned goods are used and appreciated, our focus is on nutritious food this holiday season.”

When donating food items, nutritious foods like canned or tinned meat and fish, beans, vegetables and boxed items like cereal are needed.

Cash donations are also welcome and encouraged. Cash donations are used to supplement food and toys that are not received as donations. Donations can be made online with Canada Helps. Online donations are safe and secure and a CRA receipt is issued. To donate, visit www.christmasspiritcampaign.com.

Other opportunities to get involved include the Canmore Eagles’ Game of Giving on Dec. 2 at Alex Kaleta Arena. Anyone who takes a new, unopened toy can get into the game for free.

“The Eagles are strong supporters of the campaign,” said Hately. “They volunteer every year and really help the campaign. We’d love to see a strong showing of support back to them for the game of giving.”

Campaign organizers also suggest raising funds for the Christmas Spirit campaign at your staff event or looking for ways to volunteer as a family as volunteers are always needed.

“We always need volunteers and lots of them,” said Hatley. “There are a wide variety of ways to help make Christmas bright.”

Visit www.christmasspiritcampaign.com and click on ways to give for a full listing of available volunteer opportunities.

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