It felt like Christmas on Wednesday morning at Princess Alexandra School.
As Christmas carols ring out through the classroom, some of Santa’s elves made a special delivery.
It’s part of TLC@Home – an annual Christmas charity that reaches every single classroom at five elementary schools in Saskatoon, filling almost 1,000 shoe boxes full of presents.
“Each child receives a gift with their name on it,” said TLC@Home volunteer Colleen Konecsni. “A shoe box filled with fun things, a few necessities and always a candy cane right on the very top.”
Since 2006, the program has helped brighten up the holidays for many kids in Saskatoon. Grade 1 Princess Alexandra teacher Brittany Garland has been a part of it for six years. She acknowledged this is a huge deal for the children.
“They love this,” Garland said. “Lots of our kids don’t have the means to get lots of things at Christmas time and our families do the best they can with what they have.”
Items like toothpaste and soap are treasured gifts.
“One of their favourite things is a new toothbrush, new toothpaste, getting socks, or getting new things for outside, like mitts and toques,” Garland said.
When TLC@Home started 13 years ago, Princess Alexandra was the first school to receive gifts.
“It’s a special school for us, it’s a special day for the kids in particular,” Konecsni said.
For both students and volunteers, it’s a moment they won’t soon forget. Konecsni has been a volunteer for the past eight years, she said being a part of the program brings her joy year after year.
“Just to see the kids and their excitement when they open up their gifts,” Konecsni said. ” There’s screams, there’s laughter – it’s just a really fun day.”