There is an old song by Richard Gillard that says, "Brother let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I might have the grace To let you be my servant, too." This Christmas season may we have the grace to reach out to give, and to receive, the spirit of Christmas in our community.
In an effort to assist those in need this Christmas season, here are some resources put together by our Family School Enhancement Counsellors which may be helpful to you or someone you know. For further information, please contact your Family School Enhancement Counsellor or call a community resource specialist at 211.
24-hour Mental Health Help Line (Alberta Health Services): Calls are confidential and anonymous and offer information about mental health programs and services. Call 1-877-303-2642 to reach someone at any time.
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: If you're experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, call 1-855-242-3310. It's toll-free and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Kids Help Phone: Connect via live chat, text (text CONNECT to 686868) or phone services 1-800-668-6868. Text and phone services are available 24/7/365.
Vantage Community Services: (4920-54 Street, Red Deer) offers regular free walk-in counselling services four days a week as well as holiday hours.
Outreach Services-Suicide Information & Education Services: (4101 54 Ave, Red Deer) Offers education, support and referral services. To register for services call 403-342-4966.
Blackfalds Christmas Bureau (5016 Waghorn Street)
Applicants must fill out the application form. The application deadline is November 29, 2019. Donations can be dropped off at Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) office 403-600-9066.
Bottles for a Brighter Christmas: Donate your bottles and empty cans between November 1 to December 31 at any one of the big blue metal bins around the city of Red Deer/Town of Blackfalds, as well as their three depots to support the Red Deer and Blackfalds Christmas Bureaus.
Blackfalds Food Bank Society (5007 Broadway Avenue)
Hamper requests can be made by phone 403-885-4008. Open Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Winter Coats and Boots program - with local sponsorships, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is able to ensure children 0 to 18 are provided with the necessary winter wear to ensure every child in our community with low-income hurdles remove barriers that keep them from staying warm in the winter.
Christmas Bureau (4303-50 Street Co-op mall):
Registration Mondays 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. from November 13- December 9, 2019. Donations accepted at The Town Office, Home Hardware and Dairy Queen. For registration questions call 403-227-3111 for general questions call 403-872-8944.
Innisfail and Area Food Bank (4303 50 Street - back of Co-op mall):
Hamper requests can be made by phone 403-227-0600. Open Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 p.m.
John Manville’s 4th annual Family Christmas Turkey Dinner: will be held at the Innisfail Legion (5108 49 Avenue) on December 18, 2019, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Admission is $10/person, $20/family (no limit on family size). One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated back to various local charities. Tickets are available at the front door. Everyone is welcome. Food Bank donations will be accepted at the front door.
Olds and District Christmas Angel Society: To sponsor a child, check out the Giving Trees at local businesses. Donate gifts at any of the Barrel Business locations or Stuff the Bus on December 14, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the Canadian Tire parking lot. To refer someone to the program call the Angel hotline at 403-415-9627.
Mountain View Food Bank Society (5025 50 Street):
Hamper requests can be made by phone at 403-556-1693. Hours of Operation: Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Community Lending Shelf (Olds United Church, 5313 52 Street): Send a request via Facebook with size/gender of the items of which you have need. All clothing is free. For donations, there is a 24 Hour drop off bin located behind the United Church).
The Olds Lions Club and Royal Canadian Legion invite you to the Henry Sonnenberg Christmas dinner in Olds on Christmas day from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. Don’t be alone this Christmas, come enjoy a traditional meal among friends. If you would like to volunteer, call Linda at 403-556-3896. If you need a ride for this day only, please call Alan at 403-507-5204.
The Didsbury Community Christmas Dinner is being held at the Didsbury Elks Hall on Christmas day, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Please come and enjoy a festive dinner with your friends and neighbours.
The annual Sundre Community Christmas Dinner is December 25 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. at the Sundre Legion hall. Enjoy a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings. if you need a ride to the dinner or to have a meal delivered, please contact Lourelle Vooys at 403-638-3378.
Red Deer, Springbrook and Penhold Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Senior: These programs, run through the Salvation Army, a high in-demand program that allows people to sponsor a family in need, so they can have a Merry Christmas. If your family, office, or organization would be interested in sponsoring a family this year, or if you would like to participate in the program, please call 403-346-2251 or email either firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off at the Toy Depot or at various toy boxes throughout the city. Cash cans are also at many locations in Red Deer. Donate online at www.canadahelps.org. The deadline for registration is December 12, 2019, but sponsors can register until the need is filled.
The Red Deer Christmas Bureau is completely volunteer-driven. If you would like to volunteer at the Toy depot call 403-347-2210. Volunteers are also needed for Stuff a Bus, Charity Check stops and fundraisers. Donations of Christmas toys (wish list), misc. donations/decorations (see list) and cash are accepted from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday during November and December at #15 7428 49 Ave, down from Cosmos Bottle Depot. Cash donations can also be made online at www.canadahelps.org.
Bottles for a Brighter Christmas: Donate your bottles and empty cans between November 1 to December 31 at any one of the big blue metal bins around the City of Red Deer/Town of Blackfalds, as well as their three depots to support the Red Deer and Blackfalds Christmas Bureaus.
Giving Tree (Catholic Social Services): To sponsor a child, choose a tag at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, Holy Family School, or École Camille J. Lerouge School.
The Outreach Centre’s Adopt-A-Family program is for single-parent families. You can call the Centre at 403-347-2480 to sponsor a family of your preferred size, donate a gift and grocery cards or make a monetary donation. Tax receipts are available.
Gifts for Grandparents (Family Services of Central Alberta): Donations can be dropped off starting November 13- December 11 at FSCA, Kinsmen Playspace Parkland Mall, Timberlands Pet Valu, Marlin Travel, Capri Salon, École Camille J. Lerouge and all four Shoppers Drug Mart locations. Questions? Call Liz at 403-309-8215.
Red Deer Food Bank (#12, 7429-49 Avenue):
Hamper requests can be made by phone 403-346-1505
St. Vincent de Paul Society:
Please call 403-597-3030 for emergency food hampers.
Coats for Kids (Victory Church of Red Deer, 98 Oberlin Avenue):
All the clothes are free. Hours of Operation (for drop off or shopping): Wednesday 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., Thursday: 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Friday 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Red Deer annual Christmas Day Community Dinner runs December 25 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Red Deer Church (4837 – 54th Street). If you wish to volunteer for this event, please call 403-346-2251.
Abacus Datagraphics: FREE Christmas Dinner (Gaetz Memorial United Hall 4758 Ross Street). December 7, 2019 from 2:00 -5:00 p.m.
Urban Aboriginal Voices Society & Partners: invite the community to their Dessert Night & Trade Show December 18, 2019 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the Golden Circle Seniors Center. For more info call 403-505-4049 or email email@example.com.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE
Rocky Mountain House & Clearwater County Santas Anonymous: Look for brightly-wrapped donation bins at local businesses. Cheque and cash donations are accepted at the Town Office or the Christenson Sports and Wellness Centre. Applications are available and can be dropped off at the Town of Rocky Mountain House Administration Offices, Christenson Sports and Wellness Centre or The Lord’s Food Bank. Want to know more? Contact RMHSanta@yahoo.com.
Rocky Mountain House Public Library’s Christmas Giving Tree: is collecting warm winter donations for Santa’s Anonymous from November 12 - December 13, 2019.
Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter: Donations of hats, scarves, mittens, boots and coats are accepted Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The Lord’s Food Bank (4923 - 52nd Street)
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Call 403-845-7546
Christmas Bureau: Registration forms may be picked up at the Sylvan Lake Community Partners (4936 50 Avenue), Sylvan Lake Nexsource Centre, Sylvan Lake Library or at the Community Centre (4725 43 Street). Angel Anonymous Tree is set-up at Sylvan Lake Dairy Queen for sponsors. Christmas Bureau office number is 403-348-9993.
Giving Tree: (Friends of Bethany) Provides gifts for residents in Bethany Sylvan lake, long term care facility centre. To sponsor a resident, choose a gift tag off the tree at Shoppers Drug Mart (8 5043 50A Street).
Community Partners: (4936-50th Avenue) Christmas Garage Sale from October 21 until December 13, 2019. Stop in during business hours Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. to shop or donate.
Christmas Dinner will be held December 24 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre. The event is free and will be attended by Santa. Volunteers are needed from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. To volunteer or attend call 403-887-9989.
Food Bank (4607 47 Avenue)
Hamper requests can be made by phone 403-877-4534.
Coats for Kids: and their Families too (Sylvan Lake & Area Community Partners Association Office, 4936 50 Avenue). Keeping families warm from head to toe: coats, scarves, mittens, toques, and boots. Hours of Operation October-March (for drop off or shopping): Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Call 403-887-9989 for more information.