Lethbridge charities preparing for holiday season

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge charities prepare for holiday season' Lethbridge charities prepare for holiday season
WATCH: There is still more than a month until Christmas, but some Lethbridge organizations are already hard at work like Santa's elves, trying to help as many people as possible this holiday season. Kyle Benning reports – Nov 16, 2018

Even though much of southern Alberta saw Christmas-like weather on Friday, there is still more than a month until Dec. 25.

But organizers of holiday-themed charity campaigns are already feeling the spirit that comes with the season.

A Christmas to Remember launched its fourth annual initiative this week. It’s led by AgeCare Columbia and offers Christmas gifts to seniors who might need some joy.

“[The campaign is for] any seniors who are isolated, lonely or financially challenged and just don’t have access to being around people and trying to spread cheer,” said AgeCare Columbia administrator Kathy Tomasta.
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Last season, A Christmas to Remember handed out about 400 gifts.

This year, they’re aiming for 500.

READ MORE: Santa and his elves deliver ‘The Magic of Christmas’ to Calgary homes

Christmas Hope combines some of the region’s biggest charities and they’re hoping the weather plays a big factor when it comes to donations.

“As soon as it starts to feel like Christmas, people start to think of others and it’s a wonderful thing for our campaign,” said Interfaith Food Bank executive director Danielle McIntyre.

This year the campaign is hoping to serve more people than ever before: 2,700 adults and 4,000 children.

More than 1,100 adults and 1,900 kids have already registered.

“We’re getting several calls from different groups that are organizing fundraisers on our behalf,” she said.

“We always encourage people that if you’re collecting for us, to connect with us to get a collection bin or if you need help with volunteers for your event.”

McIntyre added people can also stop in at any of the Christmas Hope locations to make a donation.

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READ MORE: Saskatoon Salvation Army’s kettle campaign launches its new season

The Salvation Army is also preparing for its Christmas Kettle Campaign.

Last year $152,000 was tallied in Lethbridge kettles.

This year, the charity has set a goal of $160,000 with collections starting next week.

The campaigns all hope to top the numbers they put up last year and make Christmas 2018 one of the most giving times the region has ever seen.

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