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Lethbridge students buy more than 100 Christmas presents for Angel Tree campaign

Coalhurst students buy more than 100 presents for Angel Tree Christmas Campaign
About 60 students from Coalhurst Elementary School headed to a local Walmart on Friday morning and spent more than $1,800 on Christmas presents for less fortunate kids. Danica Ferris has more.

Santa Claus got some holiday help from Coalhurst Elementary School students on Friday, as 60 kids picked out more than 100 presents to donate to the Angel Tree Christmas Campaign.

The gift-giving program run through Lethbridge Family Services has been around for 27 years, making sure kids in the area have presents to open on Christmas morning.

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Students in grades 1 through 6 were split into 11 groups, working with a budget of about $140 each.

“The kids, in preparation for this event, needed to go online together and research what the popular toys were, they price-checked, they learned the difference between .ca and .com as far as prices go, and so they really did plan it out,” said vice-principal Sharleen Albrecht, who spearheaded the initiative.

The money used for Friday’s shopping spree was raised earlier this week in a “Santa’s Gone Loonies” sale at the school, and Albrecht said she thought the money should be used within the community.

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“A lot of community members also donated presents, and so I took them down to Lethbridge Family Services [Thursday] night, and they said they were in desperate need of gifts for kids ages six to 12,” she said.

READ MORE: Lethbridge Christmas campaigns looking for increased donations amid ‘difficult and challenging economic times’

For students, the event was an opportunity to spread holiday cheer.

“It was really fun,” said Grade 6 student Jordyn Davis.

“Just like getting to pick out presents that other kids can open, so they can have a Christmas just like I do.”

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Students were tasked with picking presents for both boys and girls on their cheer-spreading mission.

In total, 106 gifts were purchased at a value of more than $1,800.

“It’s fun because you’re giving back to these kids who don’t normally get to have a Christmas and get to enjoy opening presents on Christmas in their PJs like we all do,” student Nalaini Sargeant said.

Holiday Train stops in Lethbridge
Holiday Train stops in Lethbridge

Staff said the day exceeded all expectations in the first year that the school has taken part in the event.

“Our kids learned so much about giving and empathy towards others who may not have the same opportunities that they do,” principal Chris McIntyre said.

The presents purchased were scheduled to be delivered to Lethbridge Family Services on Friday afternoon.

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