The Hants County Christmas Angels Society has hundreds of kids on its Christmas list every year.
“Our whole goal is to make sure that every child has Christmas,” says Leslie Porter, president of the non-profit organization.
Porter says tough economic times is making it increasingly difficult for the society to fulfill its mandate. While donations are at a low, the need continues to grow.
To adjust, Porter says, the society is turning to local businesses for help.
When Debby Rose, of Rose Real Estate, heard the Christmas Angels society was having a hard time gathering enough toys to accommodate all of the children in families approved for the program, Porter says Rose offered up her office at 630 O’Brien Street in Windsor as a drop-off point for a toy drive.
From there, Hants West MLA Chuck Porter agreed to make his office, located at 58 Gerrish Street, another drop-off point for donations of new toys destined for children who would go without if not for the efforts of the Christmas Angels, and the generosity of their community.
Linda Sheehy, of Children’s Classic Apparel, is putting her own twist on the Christmas Angels toy drive by offering to accept donations of gently used toys at her Gerrish Street shop.
Sheehy is encouraging parents to ask their child to pick a toy to give away, and have the child involved in the clean up and delivery of the donation.
“It’s a learning lesson that it’s not all about receiving, it’s also about giving,” she said.
Sheehysays those children will eventually understand how their willingness to part with a toy they no longer used brought joy to another child.
“They’re also going to receive that joy as well as getting what they’re going to get from Santa.”
The Christmas Angels Show, an annual telethon featuring local musical acts that raises cash for families approved for assistance from Christmas Angels, is Dec. 2 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in Windsor. Pledges will be accepted at the Royal Bank in Windsor, Scotiabank in Hantsport and Victory Credit Union in Windsor, Brooklyn, Kempt and Kennetcook.
As always, the coveted Seagull Sou’Wester felt hat, which has recently been renamed the Dr. Garth Vaughan Seagull Sou’Wester in honour of the late Vaughan’s vast contributions to Christmas Angels, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the end of the telethon, along with a painting that had yet to be selected as of press time.
Christmas Angels co-ordinator Sacha Brake says the program is designed to help families struggling to make ends meet have something to look forward to over the holidays, and all applications for assistance will be seriously considered.
“We’re really aware of the fact that you can have two people in your house working and still not be able to afford Christmas,” she said.
“It doesn’t necessarily matter where you’re coming from, or how you got in this position… those children deserve to have the spirit of Christmas in their home.”
People wishing to support the Christmas Angels Society can also pluck a gift request tag off of one of the Trees of Hope positioned at participating banks in Windsor and Hantsport and various variety stores in Mount Uniacke, or sign on to provide Christmas for an entire family through the Wishbook Program.
To learn more, visit www.christmasangels.ca.