After 20 years of helping the Toronto community, it becomes difficult to point out just a few memorable things that the charity experienced. Most recently during our Christmas 2016 campaign, there were super touching moments and unforgettable interactions between compassionate people. I mean, every moment was pretty amazing considering the effort of over 1,800 people coming together to help out 509 families in such a short period of time... but, if we had to pick a few, we would share our top moments that inspired us to keep helping our community.
Check out our top three moments from Christmas 2016 below!
2016 was a milestone as it marked Holiday Helpers' 20th year in operation with the highest target goal yet! Our goal was to provide 500 families with a memorable Christmas season (we hit 509), as well as spreading the joy of giving back to all of our volunteers and donors that participated. So, we felt pretty lucky when we discovered we would be able to tell our story through community programming at Rogers TV!
Rogerts TV Peel "The Local View", April and Sarah discuss how special this year is, and how the community can help. In this special moment, April talks about how the spirit of Christmas is what keeps the charity alive and thriving. We think Santa couldn't agree more!
Take a look at our Facebook video feed to view clips from the segment, and to learn more about why founders April and Sarah love the work that they do.
Of course, Santa needs some elves to figure out how to drop-off our enormous, personalized packages! It's easy to select our delivery days as the most memorable, as our volunteer numbers grow each year, along with the cars ready to deliver, even in bad weather! This year, we were fortunate to have no snow on our delivery days (though it sure was cold!) and were able to shorten the amount of time it took to give families their special presents. So many excited elves showed up at the back of our warehouse about a week before Christmas and carried the many boxes for one special family. The genuine smiles and happiness on each person's face made braving out in the cold much easier!
We were delighted to see such engagement at Santa's Wall in Santa's Workshop! Also known as our warehouse, Santa's Workshop becomes home to Holiday Helpers Canada for two weeks in December so that we can receive packages, wrap and deliver them. Here, we get hundreds of volunteers who are so jolly and excited to be part of our cause that they take tons of pictures with our blow-up Santa! Check out these hashtags on social to see more: #HolidayHelpersCanada and #HH500families.
It made us feel good to know that our volunteers wanted to keep their own memories of their work with us, knowing that they've helped in such a great cause. And, it is times like these that restore your faith in humanity and hope... It's moments like these that we never want to forget!