More than 400 volunteer elves and Santas rallied in Calgary on Saturday ahead of their work in the season of giving.
The 35th annual Magic of Christmas saw volunteers training up on festive duties, as well as trying on costumes.
The volunteer-run event uses Calgary Transit buses to deliver donations to the city’s less fortunate on Christmas Eve.
The charity said it uses 20 buses and has more than 650 volunteers on 6.5-hour bus shifts, delivering gifts to over 650 families across the city while visiting over 4,500 people in hospitals and other care facilities.
Even though the number of volunteers has increased by seven per cent since last year, President Allan Reid said the charity has experienced a decline in donations.
“Donations right now are down a little bit — we’re about 50 per cent,” he said. “There’s events coming up in the next month or so that will hopefully top us off. The public, if they want to donate, fantastic. We’re open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
“But, yeah, it’s a tough year for everybody.”
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Join Global News on Dec. 12 from 6-9 a.m. for the annual Morning of Giving where we will be broadcasting live from our parking lot at 222 – 23 St N.E. to collect donations for the Magic of Christmas.