It’s the busiest time of year for Mr. and Mrs. Claus, but Elk Valley families in need have not been forgotten.
In the week before Christmas, the world’s most famous couple travelled around the Valley collecting donations from those who had enough to give. This year, the Clauses stopped at 20 different locations, each collecting almost a cartload of food.
On their way back to the North Pole, Mr. and Mrs. Claus presented the Fernie Salvation Army with the food donations and gift cards amounting to nearly $1500 to be distributed throughout the Valley.
Mrs. Claus found it difficult to pinpoint one particular reason they chose to give back to the community, but said it was very important.
“We’re both doing well but there are people out there, and you don’t have to look very far to see that there are people in need,” she said.
“Yes, there are some in that category due to choice but then there’s an awful lot that, it’s out of their control. And they just need a hand every now and again.”
Lt. Kath Walker with the Salvation Army said this recent donation meant a lot to the organization.
“We’re really grateful at this time of year to receive so many food donations and financial donations,” she said. “It’s our busiest time of year.”
Walker added that even with these donations, they don’t last long.
“We have people coming through the doors year round to grab food, so the gift cards help us put food on the table for people, year-round,” she said.
“In a few months our shelves will be empty and we’ll be stocking it up and buying food. It’s not just at Christmas that people need food but this helps. We can only help those in the community through the generous support of the community and people doing events like this.”
Walker said people give back in different ways. It can be little things, like making sure the sidewalks in front of your home are clear or giving a neighbour a lift somewhere. Other times, it’s making a bigger commitment, like volunteering for the local Search and Rescue.
“You see it in people that take on roles and volunteer positions, and things like that,” said Walker.
“Everyone in Fernie – there’s such a great spirit of community here. People want this to be a great place and so that happens by people giving back.”