Santas Anonymous 2021

The annual Santas Anonymous project provides local Vanderhoof families who are financially disadvantaged with nourishment and toys for the holiday season. Seniors, individuals, and families who do not have the income for the many extras of the holiday season are provided a hamper that consists of fresh and non-perishable food, and toys if there are children. With the ongoing challenges due to COVID, 'food drives' are unable to occur for safety reasons. Instead, the Santas Anonymous project relied solely on the kindness and generosity of the community to make this event happen. Again this year, we partnered with the Neighbourlink, the local food bank to provide the non-perishable food for each hamper. Fresh food was funded through donations to Santas Anonymous, from the community. This year also brought limits to the number of persons able to participate in the annual Toy Run, which resulted in the significant need for many more toy donations, and the need to purchase items to ensure every child gets at least one toy. Donated funds was used to make this event a success and provide a positive ending to another challenging year to the many financially disadvantaged seniors, individuals and families in our community.

Santas Anonymous has seen great changes over the last two years. COVID demanded changes to the system and the Kin family rose to the challenge. This year's program built on the learnings of last year and it was a great success. With the help of the Men's Shed and Rita's Hair Salon we collected toys, financial donations, and handmade knitted items and spent a fun filled evening together packaging items for the families. Our Kin family filled whatever items were needed that the donations didn't cover. Neighourlink provided the food for hampers and packaged them up.

On December 19th the Kin Club met up at Neighbourlink and with the help of some Neighbourlink volunteers we presented 75+ families with staples and gifts to get them through what is sometimes the hardest time of the year. We left with full hearts, a connection to our community, and gratitude to all those who donated.

One of our Kin members wrote a fun poem to celebrate the event:

Twas the week before Christmas when all through Vanderhoof,

not a creature was stirring not even a hoof. The lights were strung along Burrard with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there;

The Kin Club was out all jumping with glee,

The Santas Anonymous donations from the community had filled all their need.

With toys packed in sacks, and food in bags,

The Kin Club was ready to hand out the 75+ packs.

The people pulled up with a roar,

Ready to graciously accept this year’s galore.

Away to the door, each volunteer flew,

Tore open the vehicles and threw up the snow,

Giving joys to those we know.

Now it cannot be done without everyone’s help.

The Kin Club cannot stop to thank all those that helped:

To Mens Shed, to Neighbourlink, to Rita’s Hair Salon, to Artemis Gold, to Integris!

On House of Hope! On California Dreamin, Nechako Lumber and the Goat!

To the Toy Run bikers, To Felicity Farms, To Bornos, To Act II Thift Store, To Jolene Bueckert and To Paul and Ann Collard

To Co-op, To Remax , Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce, to Ebus Academy and EDS school,

To School District 91, To Omineca Medical Clinic, Nechako Valley Dental and the Anglican Church,

To Scott Foods, the Ministry of Forestry, SA Energy and Ray Bruvold,

To Everything for Ewe, Dr. Wong Dental, Rebekah Sandre, and Wayne Woods

To Dave Miles, To Talwar’s Hygiene First Cleaning, Progressive Employment Services and the Steel and Gorilla Gaming show,

To Sinkut Women’s Institute, and Cozy Corner,

To TOPS, BC Liquor Stores, and Avison Management,

To Rebekah & Keith Sandve and Family,

To the District of Vanderhoof, Connexus, Ace Hardware and more

Thank you, thank you, thank you all!

With the town full of toys, and food too

It was time for the Kin Club to do what they do.

Their eyes – they twinkled, the smiles they were merry

Cheeks were like roses, and noses were as red as cherries.

The Kin Club was thankful for all the town had done.

Without them Santas Anonymous would be none.

Away they flew to spend time with each other

It was time they took a moment for one another.

But I heard them say as they flew out of sight,

‘Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!’

Special thanks to Artemis Gold for their support. We were awarded funding from their 2021 Community Sponsorship Program.