Good job, St. Albert!
Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 06:00 am
I had the honour of chairing the 46th annual St. Albert Kinette Christmas Hamper Campaign this year. It was a humbling experience. This project to me is as much about bringing the community together as it is helping the families who receive the hampers. This year we were able to send out over 1100 boxes of food and just under 400 bags of toys to 240 families. We also collected enough food to donate approximately 8000 lbs. of food to the St. Albert Food Bank.
A program of this magnitude definitely takes the generosity of an entire community. No help is too little. The donors came in many forms and all were equally important! I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all that assisted with the campaign. Thank you to:
the student who donated a toy or jar of peanut butter;
the shopper who thought to add an extra item to donate to one of our red hamper boxes;
the family, individual, service groups or business who made a financial contribution so we could buy toys, perishables and much needed groceries;
the coaches and teachers who got their students and athletes involved;
businesses that ran programs to promote both awareness and gather donations for the campaign;
all the volunteers who gave their time and helped gather, sort and deliver hampers;
the Stevenson family and St. Albert transit drivers who operate Fill-A-Bus every year;
all the businesses, agencies and schools that act as collection sites;
our large food donors Edmonton Potato Growers, the staff of Apex Casinos, Apex Casino, and the St. Albert Gazette;
the Realty Executive Masters Office that acted as our business headquarters;
The Enjoy Centre and the Hole family who provided this years hamper home and so much more;
Dave Grice and the staff of The Enjoy Centre who made sure that we had everything we could possibly need in our new home;
the businesses at The Enjoy Centre that loaned us freezer and fridge space;
St. Albert Centre which hosts our kickoff event every year;
the AMA that blew me away by giving staff paid days off to volunteer with us as well as donating $7200 from the sales of gift memberships;
our local media for helping to get the word out;
the Chamber of Commerce and its members for all their support;
my fellow Kinettes, Kinsmen, K-40s and K-ettes;
everyone who adopted and built a hamper;
my family, friends, and colleagues who not only put up with all the hours I put into the campaign but also chipped in to help as well;
anyone and everyone who assisted in any way!
I have a great sense of accomplishment from this years campaign and am hugely proud of my community and fellow Kinettes. I feel blessed to have worked with volunteers like you. I do hope you had a fabulous Christmas and safe holiday season. I know that you all had a hand in bringing smiles to many faces across our community.
This years campaign helped families who are new immigrants, individuals/families who live near the poverty line, people who have had accidents or been laid off, seniors, disabled adults who have no family, families who have experienced a recent tragedy, and teens with no one else to buy them a present! Our delivery drivers brought back many reports of tears of gratitude, surprised but appreciative faces, hugs and God Blesses. I was told by more than one driver that they were shocked by the obvious need of the recipients they delivered to and that they were thrilled to be a part of the process.
I grew up with this community and the success of a campaign like this makes me proud of this beautiful place I call home. Good job, St. Albert!
Yours in Kin,
Sharon Gregresh, St. Albert