Donations continue to come into the Red Deer Christmas Bureau but items for teenagers are something that is still lacking.
“We’ve been busy and so far we have about 780 families that have applied. I would say from this time last year we are up a bit,” said Teresa Kutynec, president at the Red Deer Christmas Bureau. “Donations are definitely coming in which is great. But we are always in need of teenage items.”
Ideas for items for the teen age group include makeup kits, hair straighteners, Axe kits for boys, watches, wallets for boys and tool kits as well.
With the generosity of Red Deerians, the Christmas Bureau provided 980 children with toys and also handed out 946 Christmas food hampers to families last year. Hampers for families can include a 12 lb turkey, ham, 5 lbs of potatoes, four litres of milk, cereal, pancake mix, syrup, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, some fruit and Jell-O, among others.
Kutynec encourages Red Deerians to donate because the donations stay in the community. “We only service Red Deer, Red Deer County, Springbrook and Penhold,” she said. “We are also 100 per cent volunteer-based so all of money goes into the community. You have the opportunity to help out your own neighbours potentially. Of course we always have overhead like everyone else, but we have terrific volunteers.”
Kutynec added her position is rewarding in that she knows people in need are able to have a little bit of a brighter holiday season.
“It is a great feeling to be able to give back to people in our community. Our clients are very emotional and very appreciative that they are able to come here and have something to give their children on Christmas Day. We often hear them say they don’t know what they would do without us,” said Kutynec. “Red Deerians are extremely generous and we are always very thankful for them and they always seem to come through for us. We are very fortunate.”
Cash donations are also welcome because it allows the Christmas Bureau to purchase gifts that they are in need of. Cash donations can be given at the Christmas Bureau’s headquarters or online at www.canadahelps.org. Tax deductable receipts are available as well.
For more information visit at www.reddeerchristmasbureau.cfsites.org or call 403-347-2210. The Christmas Bureau is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. They are located at 15, 7428-49 Ave.