December 8, 2021 • Mountain Living
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
By Kate Barker
As we approach the holiday season, there is a lot going on in our little mountain communities. From food drives to toy donations and volunteer deliveries, this is the time of year when we all come together to help those in need. Here are some great ways to support local Bow Valley families during the festive season.
In Canmore, the Christmas Spirit Campaign provides toys, food, and necessities to local families in need over the holidays. They are always looking for donations, as well as volunteers to help deliver these goodies when the time comes. This campaign directly supports 1500 people in the Bow Valley, including seniors, families on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and people who just need a helping hand.
The Christmas Spirit Campaign has options for donating gifts for children of all ages, complete with suggestions for each age group. They also accept donations to fill hampers with food, purchase gifts for seniors in need, and deliver these wonderful items around the community. Volunteer opportunities can be found online. Donation bins are at the Canmore Civic Centre, Royal LePage Solutions, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Save On Foods.
In Banff, Santas Anonymous provides Banff and Lake Louise seniors, families, and individuals in need with financial support during the holidays. The program has operated since 1984 and last year was able to support 929 local residents. The organization raises money through direct donations as well as community events with local businesses and online silent auction items. The organization and its events are run by a crew of volunteers dedicated to spreading cheer during the holidays.
The Santas Anonymous model of providing financial support allows people to buy the food they prefer to celebrate the season, regardless of specific holiday traditions. It’s designed to be an inclusive charity that supports families and individuals who need a helping hand during this busy time of year. It’s also an excellent way for the community to come together and show they care, and it directly impacts the lives of people and families who live in Banff and Lake Louise.
With so many events and ways to get involved with either of these charities during the festive season, there’s no excuse to not have fun and give to a good cause.