BCHS Santa’s Elves are making plans and checking them twice to complete the annual gift-wrapping of Christmas donations this year.
With several donation toy bins at several outlets around Bonnyville, this year more than most, the call is out to help give to those in need this holiday season.
Families in the Santa’s Elves program receive a gift and a Knights of Columbus Christmas hamper basket with the food needed for a Christmas dinner.
However, the logistics are still being worked out for those at Bonnyville Centralized High School on how to wrap the presents.
“Right now, we are gonna do some form of Santa’s Elves,” said principal Mark Centazzo. “When we started this year, we knew it was going to be groups of 50 that we could have for the sort and wrap.
“Now we’re down to 15. To get last year was like 416 gifts throughout, so we’re struggling with that right now.”
BCHS does have backup plans and several community groups and businesses have offered hands and space to complete the gift-wrapping this year, so kids can still get Christmas presents this year but were waiting (as of Tuesday afternoon) to see if the new health restrictions would interfere with those plans even more.
Centazzo said they haven’t wavered so far in doing what’s needed to help kids and families.
“We know that families, not just with COVID, but even before that, economically, our economy was hit,” said Centazzo.
“We knew that this year was going to be a difficult task to pull it off. But we also know that that need is still out there. We also know that the generosity in this community and our greater community is fantastic.
“It’s impressive. And it amazes me that we’ve got people still willing to give, despite their own circumstances to help their neighbours.”
Donation bins are set up at BCHS, Ducharme Motors, Red Apple, Lakeland Variety, Pharmasave, Town Office, the C2, Tellier’s, Mr. Mikes, The Brick, and the Bargain Boutique.
Ducharme’s will be delivering the first batch of donations this week, and they’ll be collecting gifts until Dec. 8, but donations will be accepted afterward and given next year.
The wrapping dates are tentatively Dec. 10-12, but are subject to change.
Cash donations are also being accepted through the school’s website.
They will have a float in Bonnyville’s reverse parade at the Centennial Centre on Dec. 4 that you can deliver donations to as well.