A local non-profit organization is doing its part to allow Edmonton’s less fortunate families to have a Merry Christmas.
The Mustard Seed is hosting its third annual Family Gift Centre, which sells $2 toys for parents and guardians facing poverty or homelessness for their children for Christmas.
The event targets families who do not qualify for other Christmas programs such as the Christmas Bureau or Santa’s Anonymous.
“Even if community participants do not have legal guardianship of their children, they are still able to access The Mustard Seed gift centre,” said Megan Schuring, Mustard Seed’s community engagement and volunteer services manager.
The Mustard Seed is seeking donations of new and unused gifts for children of all ages.
“We are working to ensure that there is something special under the tree for everyone this year, and that parents or guardians can experience the dignity that comes from purchasing and giving gifts to their loved ones,” said Mustard Seed’s managing director, Dean Kurpjuweit.
“A simple gift at the right time can make all the difference in the life of someone in need.”
Tiana Morrison, who was at the event shopping for five children on Tuesday morning, called the initiative one of the best in the city, particularly because of the concept of purchasing toys rather than having them donated.
“It allows you to feel like you’re actually doing something instead of getting a handout. It’s more like they’re actually helping you do something for yourself and your children,” she said.
Kurpjuweit said the demand is going up every year but so are the number of gifts being donated. He estimates hundreds of people will donate and purchase toys during the annual event which runs Tuesday and Wednesday.
Toys can be dropped off at the Mustard Seed Support Community Centre.