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At Your Service: Elves wanted to fill bookshelves

0112 kinettes1 Fill a bus CC 9923
The Kinettes annual Fill-a-bus campaign takes place Nov. 30. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

A little help from friends can go a long way, especially when they’ve got the need for something to read. Edmonton IT and communications company Digital Link hopes to encourage donations of both new and gently used books to share with children ages 6 to 16 to fill up the library at Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch.

Little Warriors is a national, charitable organization based in Canada committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. The Be Brave Ranch is a treatment centre for children and their families. Many of the children who attend the facility don’t have their own books to read to get their minds off of things and to help them go to sleep during their 28-day stays.

Digital Link president Derrick Meyer took a recent tour of the ranch and its director showed him to a table with a smattering of books on it. She called it the library, and Meyer vowed to beef it up as an easy way to make more kids' lives better.

"It just broke my heart a little bit. I said, ‘Wow, that's slim pickings.' She said, ‘You know, a lot of kids that come through here have never actually owned their own book. It's so sparse because a lot of time the kids connect to a book and they’ll send them home with it.’ I thought that was amazing," he exclaimed.

Although the campaign has only just begun, it has already seen a booming return with some drop-off locations even pledging to double what they receive.

Books can be dropped off at locations around Edmonton and St. Albert, including Core Chiropractic Clinic (30 Green Grove Dr.) and Clarity Wealth Counsel (10 Carleton Dr.). The drive runs until December 15. Organizations that wish to sign up as drop-off locations can contact Digital Link directly via Books can also be ordered from the drive's wish list and delivered directly to the ranch. The drive continues through Dec. 15.

Next stop ... Fill-a-Bus this weekend

The St. Albert Kinettes are gearing up for a full ride when their 18th annual Fill-A-Bus event takes place this Saturday, Nov. 30. The event (co-hosted by Pacific Western Transportation and St. Albert Transit) will see city buses stationed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at numerous destinations across the city. People can drop off donations of non-perishable food and toys to help support the service club’s annual Christmas Hamper campaign.

Look for the buses at the Real Canadian Superstore, Safeway, Save-On-Foods, Sobeys and at Walmart.

Monetary donations can also be delivered to Fire Hall #3 and cheques can be mailed to the following address:

Kinette Club of St. Albert Christmas Hamper Program

PO Box 65064, Mission Hill Plaza

St. Albert, AB T8N 5Y3

For more information, call 780-666-6655, email [email protected], or visit

No stops for Xmas train this year

The sad news is that this year’s CN Christmas Express Train has been cancelled, a result of the recent service disruption due to a bargaining dispute between labour and the employers.

“While I won't get into the logistics of the train and railway operations, at this late hour, even with the dedication of our team and volunteers, it's not able to run,” wrote spokesperson Gumdrop the Elf on her Facebook page.

“You all know cancelling broke my heart, and it wasn't done lightly by any means. But you all deserve the very best train ride.”

The good news is that other plans are in the works with details hopefully coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like a Christmas card from Gumdrop, you can send an email to [email protected] and she will make sure that your kids get a special message from the North Pole in the mail.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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