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Secret Santa needs help to deliver at Christmas

It’s no secret that Santa could use some help in Fort Macleod this year.
Kids First Family Centre is calling for community support for its annual Secret Santa program.
“We still need families adopted,” Trish Hoskin of Kids First said Friday.
The goal of Secret Santa is to ensure members of low-income families — children and adults — have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.
People are welcome to “adopt” a family. Kids First will provide a list with the ages and gender of each family member, and the sponsor can buy gifts.
People who don’t want to look after an entire family are welcome to contribute cash donations, for which a charitable receipt can be issued.
In the past companies, families, individuals and social groups have supported Secret Santa.
Hoskin said in an interview that support for Secret Santa has been slow this year, although three families were “adopted” last week and some cash donations were received.
“Maybe it’s just because the weather has been nice so no one has been feeling the Christmas spirit,” Hoskin offered as an explanation for the lack of support so far.
It’s not that people aren’t willing to help others.
Hoskin noted that some people who previously received support from the Secret Santa program, whose financial fortunes have improved, are now adopting families.
“They’re paying it forward,” Hoskin said.
Another family decided to forego giving gifts to one another, and will instead buy gifts for another family through the Secret Santa program.
“That’s the spirit of Christmas,” Hoskin said.
Hoskin told of a single mother who is not well-off who still came in to offer support for Secret Santa.
There is no set financial limit for gifts for an adopted family.
“We always say to give whatever you can afford,” Hoskin explained. “It’s not about the size of the gift so long as there is a gift. A lot of these families don’t have anything, and they wouldn’t have a Christmas without Secret Santa.”
“Anything these families get is more than they were going to have.”
People have until Friday, Dec. 9 to sign up to adopt a family.
Gifts must be bought and turned in to Kids First by Friday, Dec. 16 so families can pick them up the week of Dec. 19-23.
Thanks to a donation of wrapping paper from Josh Buesekom at Tru Hardware, parents and care-givers will be able to wrap the gifts.
To adopt a family or contribute to the Secret Santa program, call Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre at 587-587-1071, e-mail coord@fmkidsfirst.com or find Kids First on Facebook.
Trish Hoskin is optimistic Fort Macleod will come through for Secret Santa.
“We don’t really worry,” Hoskin said. “It always works out. People step up.”

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