It is hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner (there are only five more Fridays until Christmas Day!). We know all too well, the weeks will pass quickly, and many people are eagerly anticipating the celebrations it brings. However, that isn’t always the case for everyone.
The holiday season isn’t always magical and can be filled with hardships and challenges. So, this month, we are happy to share about the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton, which helps bring delight to those in need throughout the Christmas season.
About The Christmas Bureau
The Christmas Bureau is about bringing joy to the table for individuals, seniors, and families during the holidays. Their flagship program, The Food Hamper Program, has been operating since 1940! The Christmas Bureau distributes food hampers (with all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal), or grocery gift cards, for anyone in need during the festive season.
This year they anticipate serving over 62,000 Edmontonians.
Their second program, Adopt-a-Teen, provides a Walmart gift card to youth, ages 13-17, who have “aged out” of traditional gifting programs and may not receive anything for Christmas. In 2022, nearly 7000 teens were able to buy presents for themselves, and their family, thanks to generous donors of the Adopt-a-Teen program.
The Christmas Bureau started as a wartime effort, when hampers were created by neighbours to support military families. With each passing year, the need grew. With that, the effort grew as well.
“We often say, ‘it’s greater than one meal’ because the impact of a meal at Christmas really does last a lifetime. We meet people all the time that tell us about their experiences receiving a hamper or a friend/family member they know that were able to enjoy the holidays with a little less stress.”Lisa Dayanandan, Manager, Partnerships & Engagement
We invite you to watch this video, which demonstrates the impact the Christmas Bureau has on the people they serve, the community and its volunteers.
How can you help?
There are many ways to support the efforts of the Christmas Bureau! They have a significant fundraising target this year of $3.2 million, and every dollar truly does help. You can donate online, in person at the office (12122 68 Street), or at one of their upcoming events.
The Christmas Bureau also has several volunteer opportunities throughout the holiday season. For example, they will need 350 drivers to deliver 1,800 hampers on December 16! Sign up on their volunteer page to see how you can give the gift of your time this holiday season.
Mark your calendars! On December 8, 2023, The Christmas Carol Sing-Along, hosted by the Edmonton Chorale Community, is a beautiful hour of traditional Christmas carols at the Winspear Centre (admission by donation). The Christmas Bureau of Edmonton is also excited to return to Glow Edmonton, where they will be taking donations at the coat check, and have a booth at the marketplace on December 22 & 23. They also have other festivals and markets this holiday season, which can be found on their website.
We want to thank the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton for helping spread the true meaning of Christmas to our community this holiday season!