November 16, 2016 12:08 pm
Updated: November 16, 2016 6:06 pm

The New Secret Santa Project aims to make the holiday season brighter for kids in need

WATCH ABOVE: Wesley Mendelovitch from LinkNow Media joins Global’s Laura Casella to talk about The New Secret Santa Project fundraiser they’re hosting for Batshaw Youth and Family Centres.

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The holiday season will soon be upon us and while many will be spending the holidays with friends and families, not everyone is so lucky.

That’s where LinkNow Media‘s Wesley Mendelovitch comes in.

Mendelovitch is the man behind The New Secret Santa Project, a fundraising campaign to help make the holiday season a bit brighter for children under the care of Batshaw Youth and Family Centres.

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Mendelovitch said the idea came to him from a story his mother told him.

“When her hairdresser got married, he asked for toys rather than gifts,” he said. “Then he donated them all to a local hospital.”

But the project only took shape in 2012.

Mendelovitch said it all started when a manager came into his office asking if they were going to do the office gift exchange.

Mendelovitch proposed something different.

“We were to go out and look for an orphanage and donate gifts to orphans,” Mendelovitch said. “We learned in Quebec that there’s no orphanages; kids are put into foster care or foster homes.”

After some research, the company discovered Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, a local organization that comes to the aid of children who are victims of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

The first year, the company managed to donate 125 gifts and worked their way up to 250 last year with a $10,000 donation.

Mendelovitch thought they were doing great but realized there’s always more to do, despite reassurances from Batshaw’s.

“You did awesome,” they would tell Mendelovitch.

“But we didn’t do awesome if we didn’t get all the kids,” Mendelovitch said. “At the end of last year with all that we did, there were still hundreds of kids without anything.”

So this year, The New Secret Santa Project has started a Go Fund Me campaign in the hopes of achieving its goal of raising $25,000 and donating 2,500 gifts.

“That way we could cover all the kids and maybe even get them a birthday present this year,” he said. “We’re looking for cash donations, presents, if you own a toy store and want to give us a discount when we go buy gifts. We’re looking for anything.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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