ESTEVAN - With the deadline for the Angel Tree Christmas campaign just around the corner, they are desperate for more toy donations.
One of the volunteers Melody Pierson posted on Facebook on Wednesday that they have no toys for boys or girls ages 7-16.
As of Dec. 7, they had about half of what they usually get by this time of year, and the deadline for donations is set for Dec. 12.
The Estevan Community Hamper & Angel Tree made a post on social media Tuesday, reaching out to the community and asking people to step forward and help them make sure that every child in the area has a present to unwrap on Christmas.
“I think Christmas just snuck up on people,” said Char Seeman, who co-chairs the Community Hamper Association with Heather Woodhouse. “Since we put that post out, we've had a lot of comments, and a lot of people phoning and a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, geez, we didn't even realize, we forgot all about it.”
This year, the Estevan Angel Tree received 430 applications for Christmas gifts for toys, which is lower than the previous year. Nevertheless, at this time they are not close to having enough donations for everyone on the list.
“The donation flow is a lot lower this year,” Seeman said.
They received about three bags of toys collected by the Estevan Police Service at Spruce Ridge School last week. The Christmas Angel Trees at Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Casual, Your Toy Store & More, Kessel Run Games and Walmart keep collecting donations, but Seeman said there isn’t much so far.
TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club is also accepting donations. And there is an option to call/text 306-421-9182 or 306-421-7337 and Angel Tree members will come to pick up the toys.
The Estevan Fire Rescue Service and Estevan RCMP will be collecting toys in front of Canadian Tire in Estevan this Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and Seeman said they hope they can eventually get enough items to make every child on their list smile while unwrapping their Christmas gifts.
“Estevan and area have never failed us. And I know they will come through again. I know they will. There's just no doubt in my mind,” Seeman said.
In their post on social media, the Hamper Association added, “We also have over 250 food hampers to give out to feed over 860 people on Christmas Day. We have cut back on our hampers already, but as we all know, groceries just aren’t cheap! It breaks our hearts thinking of having to choose between food and toys. So we are crossing all our fingers and toes that it won’t come to that!”
“Thank you so much to all those who have donated or helped in any way so far. This is a whirlwind of a project that would 1000 per cent be impossible without all the awesome folks who help or donate.”