Volunteers, donations needed for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous this Christmas season

630 CHED Santas Anonymous toy drive at the Nov. 5, 2016 Eskimos game. Chris Scheetz, 630 CHED

The Christmas season is upon us, and 630 CHED Santas Anonymous is ramping up operations.

Donation boxes went out to major shopping centres a week ago, and Santa’s depot opened on Nov. 15.

But as 630 CHED Santas Anonymous executive director Lana Nordlund said, it was a bit of a slow start. They’re hoping to see more volunteers drop in.

According to Nordlund, volunteering at the depot is hard work – but it’s fun, too.

“The majority of what volunteers do while they’re here is to basically prepare the gift packages for children,” Nordlund said.

“You have to love Christmas music because it’s blaring, and it’s such a wonderful place to be.”

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READ MORE: 630 CHED Santas Anonymous campaign kicks off with Edmonton Toy Run

Toy donations are needed as well – the sooner the better. Applications need to be filled out and toys organized and packed before delivery weekend.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of toys come in as of yet,” Nordlund said. “We do have a bit of a carry-over from last year, and there’s been some events that have already happened, which is fabulous and that’s given us a start.”

“But we really need the toys to come in because the families applications are coming in now.”

She also asked for people to think small, because the entire family’s presents get packaged into one bag.

Nordlund encourages volunteers and donations because it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.

“Just knowing that on Christmas morning, when a child opens up a gift, there’s going to be something new in there for them,” she said.

WATCH: How you can help out 630 CHED Santas Anonymous this Christmas season

Delivery weekend is planned for Dec. 16 and 17.

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“It could be quite humbling being on the other side of that door, but people are very, very thankful,” she said.

Volunteers at the depot must be 16 or older. If you’re looking to drop in and help, 630 CHED Santas Anonymous will be accepting volunteers until Dec. 14.

If you wish to participate, you can find donation locations, volunteer opportunities and requirements/suggestions for toy donations here.

The mission of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous is to see every child in the Edmonton area open a new toy on Christmas morning.

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