June 22nd, 2024

Local family’s Christmas campaign lights up help for those in need

By Lethbridge Herald on November 23, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Chandel and Vince Caldwell are ready to welcome members of the community to their Christmas with the Caldwells kick off party to start collecting toys and food for those most in need.

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Once again a Lethbridge family is lighting up their neighbourhood and is sharing their Christmas spirit in hopes to inspire the community to donate food and toys for those in need. 

The Caldwell family will be hosting their Christmas with the Caldwells kick off party on Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 126 Red Crow Blvd. West where they hope to start collecting toys for the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots event as well as non-perishable items for the Lethbridge Food Bank. 

Vince and Chandel Caldwell said this is their fifth year with the toy and food drive and it started when they first moved to the house they currently live in and started to decorate their house with their Christmas display. 

“People would knock on the door and bring us presents like chocolates and cards to say thank you for lightning up the community,” said Vince. 

He said that at some point their oldest daughter started asking if someone was dropping off chocolates, so they told her that is not what Christmas is about and decided to do something about it. 

“We should probably rather than people bringing us gifts to say thank you for lightening up the community, how about we have a bin where people can put food and toys for Toys for Tots and the Lethbridge Food Bank,” said Chandel. 

She said that for their fifth year they wanted to do something big.  

“We’ll have a fire pit on the driveway as we do every year, hot chocolate, cookies, we have marshmallows and sticks for kids to roast marshmallows and we encourage people to park, get out, look around, hang out with us,” said Chandel. 

She added they will have Christmas music playing in the background. 

“We have a horse and wagon coming this year,” said Vince. 

“That is a little surprise that we have,” said Chandel. 

She explained that they will take people around the block if they are interested. 

“We love to see people’s photos too, to see what their favourite things around the house are, so if they make a post we ask to tag us #christmaswiththecaldwells so we can see it also,” said Chandel. 

The Caldwells are encouraging people to donate for Toys for Tots and the Lethbridge Food Bank, but they also understand that not everyone is in the position to do so. 

“Come either way, it’s Christmas,” said Vince. 

They said they will also accept cash donations for both of the organizations. 

“Last year Toys for Tots was short and they called us, I asked what they needed and with the money that people have given us, we went and bought $1000 worth of toys,” said Vince. 

Chandel said last year their goal was 2,021 pounds of food to donate, but this year they are setting their goal at 3000 pounds. 

She added that last year they were able to donate “two truck boxes full of toys” and they set their goal this year for three. 

Chandel said they also have some extra incentives for people to come to donate. 

“We have Santa’s bag giveaways, some local businesses have donated some gifts. The incentive for people to donate is that they get entered into a draw where they can win some of those gifts,” said Chandel. 

She said some of the giveaways include four tickets to a Hurricanes game, a photography session, dinner for two at Italian Table, and more which will be displayed at the kickoff party. 

Chandel said they have chosen to donate to Toys for tots and the food bank because both of them used services like them growing up so it is a cause dear to their heart. 

“We feel like those services are very important for the community,” said Chandel. 

“I feel like every kid should experience the magic of Christmas and get a present from Santa, some families don’t have that so it is moving to see the amount of stuff that we get,” said Vince. 

They said the bins will be out on their front yard throughout the whole season until Dec. 20. 

“We will do weekly drop offs because we can’t store it anymore,” said Chandel. 

“We used to store it all so we can take one big picture of it all, but we can’t do that anymore because it is too much. So for our goal we will have a display of where we’re at,” said Vince. 

He explained that every time they drop donations off, they will weight it and then that will be displayed in their yard so people can tell how much they still need. 

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