While the one-day drive at both local grocery stores went well, donations remain somewhat down from previous years.
Karen David, the off-campus and distance learning coordinator at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC), is also the organizer for the local Santa’s Anonymous operated by the school.
She noted that the annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign — held throughout the day Dec. 5 at No Frills and Hamilton’s IGA — definitely helped bring more items and more attention to the cause this year.
“The day was pretty good for us, bringing in about $2,000 in donations,” David said.
“However, our food donations were down slightly.”
PSC students from Grades 11 and 12 volunteer to help run the operation, from collecting the donations to finding stores that will house donation boxes to making sure all of the hampers are filled and then delivered.
David added they are still accepting donations for this year, with the most urgent needs being presents for the hard-to-buy teenage category as well as more food. However, cash is always welcome.
“It was great to get the large donation from the Charity Checkstop this year, so that definitely helps plus all of the other donations we’ve gotten. We use the money to buy the turkeys and hams for the hampers, which all receive a number of basic items,” she stated.
“We also buy all of our groceries and presents that we need at local businesses. It’s sometimes hard, but we do the best we can.”
She also explained that Santa’s Anonymous will accept donations throughout the year because, as she puts it, when they can find deals on wrapping paper, toys, tape and other items it can help stretch the donation dollars even further.
As for this year, it’s almost done — with students at PSC putting together the hampers and presents this week in order to have them ready by Dec. 18 and then go out on Dec. 20 to deliver them.
For more information about the program, call PSC at 403-783-4411.