Another successful delivery weekend for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous
Delivery weekend for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous has come and gone.
The final thousand packages went out Sunday morning and were successfully delivered to families in need.
Hundreds of people lined up Saturday to deliver toys and the last package left Santas depot at 1:41 p.m.
Santas executive director Lana Nordlund said it was a fantastic day.
“So many people came out we actually had to turn away drivers. We couldn’t be more pleased that there was at least one attempt made on every package.”
Rob was the first person in line at 6 a.m. on Saturday. He said he’s been volunteering on delivery weekend for nearly 20 years.
“I love delivering gifts. Smiles on the kids’ faces, just get out there and meet people. Just, joy.”
Even when things slowed down midway through the day, the community stepped up to help.
“When the call went out around noon that we needed help, the parking lot started to fill up,” Nordlund said. “And the volunteers came out, and it was absolutely fantastic to see.
“It warms all of our hearts that what few of us staff and so many volunteers that work so diligently to get this done, and everybody comes out just to make sure that it’s going to happen.”
This Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of volunteers lined up to deliver toys to about 25,000 kids across Edmonton.
“We have people who start to line up early in the morning to be the first one through the doors,” Nordlund said earlier this week. “We’ll open the doors at 9:30 a.m. and will be accepting volunteers until the last family bag heads out of Santas Depot.”
To volunteer, drivers simply needed to show up and bring their driver’s licence and insurance into the depot.
“My mom will be checking checking the insurance and licences and if it’s not valid, she’ll have no problem turning you away,” Nordlund laughed.
Unlike the rest of the season, volunteers of all ages were welcome to participate in delivery weekend.
“We see families every year with kids of all ages,” Nordlund said. “It’s always nice to see those same families back year after year.”
On Sunday, Nordlund said a lot went through her mind as she watched that final gift leave the warehouse.
“It is so satisfying, humbling, it’s impossible to really come up with the right words. But to see this last bag actually leave after two days and after a year of work, we’re already planning for next year.”
Nordlund says the hard work’s not done yet at Santas depot.
“We have clean-up crews coming in cause now [and] we have to turn Santas depot into basically an office as we prepare for our walk-in program along with the Christmas Bureau that happens at the end of this week.”
Delivery weekend’s official finish time was at 10:38 a.m. on Sunday.
Santas Anonymous is teaming up with the Christmas Bureau and the Adopt-a-Teen program to give out gift cards and toys for Walk in Week on Thursday and Friday.
About 1,000 volunteer drivers were needed to make delivery weekend a success.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Cassandra Jodoin
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