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Fort Macleod shows its heart at Christmas

Fort Macleod has heart — a big heart.

Residents responded with gusto to a call to support a new program to deliver Christmas gifts to families that need support.

“To say that the people of Fort Macleod demonstrated the true meaning of Christmas is an understatement,” Heart of Fort Macleod organizer Laura Pearce said.

Families, businesses and service groups stepped up with donations of cash, gifts and groceries to support Heart of Fort Macleod.

Heart of Fort Macleod is a “secret Santa” style program that is a partnership between the Town of Fort Macleod and the W.A. Day school Lighthouse team.

In previous years Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre operated the Secret Santa program in which people donated gifts that were distributed to families that needed a helping hand.

When changes to government funding revised Kids First’s mandate, the centre was no longer able to operate the Secret Santa program.

When she learned of the situation, Pearce was moved to write Fort Macleod council to gauge interest on the part of the town. The partnership was quickly formed.

Thirty-seven families who needed a little support this year will receive gifts.

The families were referred to Heart of Fort Macleod by people in the community, providing the ages of family members, hobbies and interests.

When they learned about Heart of Fort Macleod people were generous in their support, providing gifts and cash donations.

Some people adopted entire families, while others dropped off gifts or money that Heart of Fort Macleod used to buy gifts.

“I am beyond touched by the kindness and generosity,” Pearce said. 

Gifts and groceries will be available for families to pick up Thursday, Dec. 17.