Spread the giving

Tis the season of giving, and it’s great to see the outpouring of generosity with organizations such as the Red Deer Food Bank, Red Deer Christmas Bureau and other prominent causes.

On Dec. 3, the food bank held its annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign at Parkland Mall. More than $25,000 worth of food was donated and an additional total of $45,000 in cash was donated as well.

On the same weekend, the annual RCMP Charity Check Stop raised just over $23,500.

A truckload of toys was also collected for the Christmas Bureau and more than 2,640 pounds of food was collected for the food bank.

Other organizations and agencies like the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign still need volunteers but it’s normally an extremely successful campaign.

While we applaud Red Deerians for stepping up to help out this time of year, we can’t forget the lesser-known causes that are just as important and rely on community support every bit as much.

Project Linus makes, collects and distributes handmade blankets, made with love to give to children in crisis. This includes children who are ill, with HIV, cancer or in a crisis shelter or foster home. Officials don’t limit their giving to children in crisis. The list expands daily, according to Angie Garcia, who oversees the local chapter. Although this organization, which was launched in 1995, operates year-round it’s important to continue supporting it during the holiday season as well.

Also, Charity Anderson is spearheading the donation of care packages which she has dubbed ‘Clean and Cozy Kits’ to those in need.

Anderson has divided the kits into three categories: men’s, women’s and children’s. Examples of donations run the gamut from socks, mitts/gloves, scarves/neck warmers and toques to deodorant, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

These two women are working hard to make a difference in the community, and we know there are people out there that can help them along in their endeavours.

Other organizations can tend to be a little overlooked include soup kitchens Loaves and Fishes, Potters’ Hands and the shelter People’s Place. They also rely on the generosity of local individuals and businesses to keep their services available.

Anyone can get involved. If we all chipped in, even in a small way, enormous differences could be made and we can all enjoy the Christmas season even more. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. Organizations are grateful for even the smallest of donations.

For more information regarding Clean and Cozy Kits, contact Charity at 403-352-5607. For more about Project Linus, visit http://projectlinus.yolasite.com or email projectlinusrd@gmail.com.