This year, Christmas Cheer is looking to the Sault Ste. Marie community once again, to provide a Christmas for many local families.
Christmas Cheer has been in operation since the early 1960’s, delivering a Christmas meal and presents to families in need in the Sault Ste. Marie area.
In 2021, Christmas Cheer helped 1743 families, according to convener, Diane Marshall. “This year it appears the need might be even greater, as the applications in the past five days have doubled from the same period last year,” said Marshall. “We are most concerned, if such numbers continue, that we will not be able to provide in the same manner as in the past.”
Families who access Christmas Cheer range from individuals to large families with many children. Two thirds of applicants are families of two or more people.
Gifts to the program include:
- canned goods from school children,
- new toys,
- knitted items of mittens, toques, and scarves,
- hockey sticks,
- plus toiletry items
The only used items accepted will be dolls, games, puzzles, and books. Money raised through the Sault Star Santa Fund allows for the purchase of grocery gift cards, plus special treats to complete the baskets.
Christmas Cheer is strongly supported by the community.
Volunteers, often referred to as “Santa’s Senior Elves” commit five weeks to accept donations and package the baskets at the main depot, which is at the former IDA Drugstore in the Station Mall.
The depot opens on November 14 and will be open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Delivery day will be Wed. Dec. 14. The Firefighters, Reserve Army, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and individual volunteers deliver the packages to the 50 sub-depots throughout the city and surrounding areas.
“We have tremendous support for our program. Schools, office departments, coffee groups, families, book clubs, sororities, and companies faithfully donate to Christmas Cheer knowing that we will be careful guardians of their donations and funds,” explained Marshall. “Such generosity allows the ‘Magic of Christmas Cheer’ to happen year after year!”
For convenience, The Sault Star Santa Fund will have a donation table at the front of the main depot in the Station Mall.
Let’s all help everyone in the Soo have a happy Christmas. Learn more and connect with the Christmas Cheer team on their Facebook page.
This article was made possible through the support of Arthur’s Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel.