Edmontonians looking to volunteer this season at 630 CHED Santas Anonymous will encounter a few changes compared to previous years.
This year, volunteers can no longer just show up to volunteer at the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit and delivery weekend has been shortened to one delivery day.
Those looking to volunteer ahead of delivery weekend will now register ahead of time using the Santas website.
LISTEN BELOW: Lana Nordlund – Executive Director, Santas Anonymous
“Our goal is to make it easy to volunteer,” Janine Foote, marketing and communications manager with Santas, said. “Having pre-registered shifts allows volunteers to plan their volunteering and coordinate with friends.”
Volunteers will now use an online application form to pick what shifts they’d like to come work. Starting Nov. 4 at noon, aspiring elves can register on the Santas website, will receive login credentials and access to a self-scheduling tool they’ll use to choose when they’d like to come in and volunteer.
“This also allows Santas Depot supervisors to know how many volunteers to expect each day,” Foote said.
Those who don’t have a computer or a smartphone can call Santas Depot and the staff will get them registered for a spot.
Santas Depot opens on Nov. 18, but the first shifts open for volunteers will be on Nov. 19.
The other big change is moving delivery weekend from a two-day operation, to just one day. Over the last few years, volunteer turnout and use of the Santas app for delivery drivers has meant all the toys are leaving Santas Depot on the first day.
“Thanks to technology and amazing volunteers we’ve become so efficient that day two is not longer required,” Foote said.
In previous years, packages that weren’t received at their destination were returned to Santas Depot.
This year, if a family isn’t home when the driver attempts to drop the packages off on delivery day, information will be left to let the family know where and when they can pick up those packages.
As always, there is no pre-registration required for delivery day. Drivers just need to show up with their licence and proof of insurance. Doors for delivery day will open at 9 a.m., which is 30 minutes earlier than previous years.
Santas is also looking for groups to volunteer at the Christmas tree lot at Ikea. There is no heavy lifting required and hot chocolate, coffee and a warm trailer are provided. If interested, contact email@example.com for more information.