June 14th, 2024

Christmas Hope calls for last-minute toy donations


By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 17, 2022.

Herald photo by Cal Braid Angel Tree drop-off locations like this one at the public library are located throughout the city. Library staff can take donations at the children's circulation desk.

Christmas Hope, a local interagency service group that strives to bring hope and joy to every family in need over the holidays is hoping Lethbridge residents can dig a little deeper in the lead up to the big day.

According to their website, “The partnership is comprised of the Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank, Lethbridge Family Services, Angel Tree, Volunteer Lethbridge, The Salvation Army, and MyCityCare’s Shop of Wonders.”

Jen Tribble is the MyCityCare director at Parallel Church and the lead on the Christmas Hope campaign.

“Our Christmas partners are projecting to serve over 5000 children and 3000 adults this Christmas through toys, food hampers, and supporting services,” said Tribble in a release.

She said that the collaboration of agencies makes for more efficient use of resources and avoids the duplication of services. The campaign still has immediate needs.

At Angel Tree, they need Lego for nine to 12 year olds, crafts for eight to 12 year olds, and Barbies. MyCityCare is asking for teen gifts, stocking stuffers, and girls gifts for all ages. The Salvation Army is requesting toys for all ages and teen gifts.

The scope of the campaign is significant, and along with the toys, food hampers are coming together at the food banks.

Bill Selles, volunteer coordinator at the Interfaith Food Bank put out an unusual request as well, saying, “There is one really specific item we need: halal items.” He said that on Sept. 1, the food bank began making halal available after seeing many clients removing undesirable meat products from their hampers, and the addition of halal services has “been really well received.” He also mentioned that gift cards were great additions to gift packages and that the food bank could receive and distribute those.

Angel Tree has drop-off locations throughout the city and a map is available at the Lethbridge Family Services website. The other partners are collecting toys at their operating sites.

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