Angel Tree Christmas Campaign supporting children across southern Alberta

Students and teachers at St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary School celebrate the start of the Lethbridge Family Services' Angel Tree Christmas Campaign Thursday morning. Global News

Christmas cheer is already in the air in Lethbridge as Lethbridge Family Services’ (LFS) 26th annual Angel Tree Christmas Campaign got underway Thursday at St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary School.

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The initiative provides children, who otherwise might not get them, with Christmas gifts.

“We work with referral agencies and schools and they identify the children who are most in need of the gifts,” LFS CEO Sandra Mintz said.

Last year, hundreds of volunteers, businesses and organizations brought smiles to more than 2,200 children across southern Alberta.

“We are serving the Lethbridge community as well as the surrounding area,” Mintz said. “A lot of people don’t know that. We also provide gift bundles to families out in Taber, Pincher Creek, Magrath, the Crowsnest Pass and Coaldale.

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“We do have partnerships with businesses in those communities too. It’s a very big campaign and we’re so excited to launch it today.”

All of the students at St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary School will have a gift bag with an angel inside in their homerooms. The children can then take the angel to an adult to help them buy a gift for the campaign.

“There are no words to describe how joyful this experience is,” Mintz said. “Before coming to this launch, I went into our Santa’s workshop area in our north office and we’re having shelving put up on the walls to hold all the gifts… getting the gift wrap in and the whole nine yards. It really is such a good experience.”

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Gift donations are being accepted until Dec. 22 at the LFS location at 1107 2 Ave. A N., along with a number of other places across the region.

To see the full list of Angel Tree drop-off locations, you can visit the LFS website.

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