Last-Minute Christmas Giving Ideas: Help Fort Mac's Local Charities

Last-Minute Christmas Giving Ideas: Help Fort Mac's Local Charities

For you last-minute donors, some “stocking stuffers” to help Fort McMurray local charities.

Last week there were two unsettling news stories about Fort McMurray. The demand for Christmas hampers, toys for children, and turkeys for families has risen 20%, yet donations to Salvation Army Fort McMurray and Santas Anonymous are down. Fort McMurray is going through a tough recovery following the fire of 2016: low oil prices, people leaving town for good, job cuts, and house foreclosures reaching record levels.

It’s a little shortfall in the whole scheme of things - $8,000 at Salvation Army, $24,000 at Santas Anonymous. Giving Christmas hampers isn’t high impact, it doesn’t save lives. Yet it does bring a little cheer to those in need at Christmas time.

You, me, and all Charity Intelligence friends and followers, we can all chip in to help those having a hard Christmas in Fort McMurray. We need to give today – Santa’s hampers leave in airplanes to deliver the food on Friday, December 22.

Donate to Santas Anonymous online

Donate to Salvation Army Fort McMurray (please note, you need to specify to Alberta - Fort McMurray Corps)


As Charity Intelligence followers, you will also want facts!

Santas Anonymous isn’t “big” on numbers so there are few figures to crunch. Its Santa campaign is run by students at Father Mercredi High School in Fort McMurray. Following up on the news report, we learnt that last year it delivered over 700 Christmas Hampers. This year it has had a record number of requests and is hoping to provide nearly 1,000 hampers - 700 hampers to people in Fort McMurray, with another 300 hampers flown into small towns in Northern Alberta. Each Christmas Hamper goes through a referral process to ensure the needs of a family are met. In each hamper is a turkey, potatoes, books, a toy or two for children, blankets, formula, and diapers for families with babies, food for a week and cash vouchers. This year donations have fallen short of previous years. Current donation shortfall $24,000.

Salvation Army Fort McMurray is a medium-sized charity. Most of its $8 million in annual funding comes from the Alberta government. Donations bring in $1.6 million a year, with the Christmas kettle campaign one event. The Christmas campaign pays for hampers for 1,500 people. Along with its Christmas hamper program, Salvation Army helps the homeless with addiction recovery, food, and shelter. It helps about 350 clients each day, with a monthly cost of approximately $150 a client.

 Salvation Army and Santas Anonymous co-ordinate their hamper programs so there isn’t duplication.


News articles: 

MyMcMurray reports “Miracle Marathon for Santas Anonymous falls short of fundraising goal by $50,000”

CBC News reports “Fort McMurray charities see higher need for holiday donations”



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