Facing a record amount of referrals this year, the Magic of Christmas needed a bit of magic of their own this year.
The Calgary-based charity received more than a thousand requests to help make Christmas happen for families in need in the city.
“We did 1,065 calls,” Magic of Christmas volunteer Shirley said.
And that’s when the magic really happened, starting with Global Calgary’s Morning of Giving almost two weeks ago.
Hundreds of Calgarians donated nearly $50,000 in cash and thousands more in toys and gifts during the one-day event on Dec. 11.
“They showed up for us. They gave of their time or their gifts, or their financial contributions, and all of that together added up to a huge amount of love,” Global Calgary’s Leslie Horton, who organizes the annual event, said.
Even with Morning of Giving bringing in a significant amount of donations, Magic of Christmas president Clayton Busher said it was touch and go for the operation right up until Monday.
Short on gifts specifically for girls aged nine to 12, a call for help was issued and once again the community responded, donating even more cash and gifts.
“The generosity of Calgarians is actually phenomenal,” an emotional Busher said.
Over 800 volunteers were able to stuff 22 City of Calgary transit buses with food hampers, full turkey dinners, toys and gifts for every family member, with the plan to deliver them to needy families throughout the entire day.