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“We’re here for them:” hundreds of volunteers show up for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous deliver day

For some it’s the the first time, and for others it’s become an annual tradition.

Hundreds of people packed the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit Saturday, for the annual delivery day tradition that helps spread Christmas cheer by delivering gifts to families in need across the city.

“It lets the whole city know that we are here for them,” said Angel Benedict, executive director 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. “We’re creating hope, we’re letting those families know that we’re here for them.”

This year, approximately 1,000 people are volunteering their time at the warehouse while another 1,000 are out delivering the gifts.

Each child, from infancy to age 12, receives two toys, a book and a stuffed animal. Families can sign up for gifts through the website or be referred by local agencies.

The charity began 68 years ago in the basement of 630, by Jerry Forbes. That year about 200 children in need received gifts. This year Santas Anonymous will make sure over 22,000 kids will have a gift to open on Christmas morning.

“It’s more than just that gift under the tree… we’re telling families in need that we care about them and we’re giving them hope,” Benedict added.

Last year, 35 per cent of the families that asked for help were brand new to Santas Anonymous, many stating inflation and job losses were the biggest reasons why they reached out for help.

“Santas does so much for so many, I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Heidi Scott, who volunteered to deliver gifts this year. “I never want anyone to not have a gift at Christmastime, its about sharing love and getting out there and helping a good cause.”

Delivery day for Santas Anonymous continues on Sunday. Volunteer drivers are asked to bring their drivers licence and proof of insurance to ensure they are eligible to deliver the gifts.

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


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