ELK POINT - The Community Lions of Elk Point has begun its 2020 drive for donations to Santa's Anonymous. Organized annually with the cooperation of County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS, the program provides Christmas food hampers and gift baskets to families in the Elk Point area who are facing financial difficulties.
Considering the state of the local economy, organizer Susan Frisby anticipates an increase in the number of families needing toys and food for Christmas. At the same time, she recognizes that given the COVID restrictions there will be few donations from staff parties or seasonal concerts. Due to this shortfall, she expects to provide a smaller number of gifts and less food in hampers than in past years, but she is determined to provide for families in need.
Servus Credit Union has donated $2,000, which will be added to the funds from FCSS and the Lions to ensure a Christmas meal for each family.
As well, the community has a number of opportunities for residents to donate as they can.
Elk Point Elementary School is collecting such hygiene items as deodorant, soap, shampoo, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and toothpaste, as well as basic cleaning products like laundry detergent and dish washing liquid. A number of downtown businesses have collection boxes for craft sets, colouring books with crayons, games, puzzles and other toys. Servus Credit Union and the ATB have each set up a Tree of Warmth and are accepting donations of mittens and toques to decorate the trees.
Shoppers can donate cash at Cornerstone Co-op toward Santa's grocery bill. Decorations will be added to the Santa's Anonymous Christmas tree as the grocery fund increases.
This year, instead of a wrapping workshop, volunteers will be given a box of gifts to wrap at home and then return to the depot where they will be distributed. Presents, wrapping paper, tape, and tags will be supplied. Anyone interested in helping can contact Ann at 780 724-3196.
Individuals who require assistance from Santa's Anonymous must reside in the Elk Point area, must not be receiving gifts from a similar organization, and must register through FCSS at 780-724-3800 by Dec. 10.