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Regina ‘secret Santas’ helping deliver Christmas to families in need

Jon Zanger and his partner Shalane Albert are making a list and checking it twice, as they are set to deliver Christmas meals and gifts to 40 families for Christmas.

“It’s really a big joy to be able to give back to people, help people and put a smile on some children’s face for Christmas,” Zanger said.

Zanger says while some families may have the money to buy their kids gifts, for many it is a luxury they can’t afford.

“It’s really hard for people to survive right now. So we knew people were struggling out there, that’s why we wanted to help but for me it was a big eye opener that there is a lot more people than you even realize,” he explained.

The idea came after the couple saw a post on social media with someone asking for a food hamper for Christmas. It was Zanger and Albert who delivered the food and decided to help more people.

Now, they have meals and gifts for 40 families in need with the hope of getting to 60 by Christmas Day.

“We had a lot of people reach out and tell us their stories about why they can’t have Christmas or the struggles they are having,” Albert said. “It really touched us.”

Albert said she used to be one of those kids hoping for a gift, but now she is able to help those who are in need.

“Anything means everything to a child,” she said as she recalled her childhood. “Because we are so close to Christmas, we are really pushing the bar to try and see if we can cover the families that we can and come across.”

Helping kids at Christmas is something Tim Fraser at the Salvation Army is very familiar with but he says it’s getting harder to help all the families in need.

He said anytime other community members take on helping others at Christmas time, the effects are felt everywhere.

“We love when we see other people step up and say, ‘We want to support a family, how can we do it,’” Fraser said. “The need is so great, there is such a demand that as an organization like the Salvation Army — we can’t do it all ourselves.”

Fraser said there is currently 1,966 families registered in the Christmas assistance program, which will impact over 4,300 kids.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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