Every year for the past 18 years, Ralph McCall Elementary School has adopted three families through the Airdrie Lioness Hamper Foundation and this year is no exception with the school’s “Light Up a Family Christmas” fundraiser.
“Over the years, we found our families have been very supportive, the kids get excited about this program – they’re constantly bringing in money and food,” said Karla Patzer, an administrative assistant at the school.
Patzer said she has been with the school for more than 16 years and the support the fundraiser receives every year is great.
“We’ve always been able to donate extra to support the (three) families involved,” she said.
Students began collecting hamper necessities Nov. 28 and will continue to do so until Dec. 14, providing food and gifts to seven members of three families in Airdrie.
“We have kids bring in food from their pantries and each grade level has a big plastic Christmas tree that hangs in their hallways,” she said. “When the kids bring in a food item they put a paper ornaments onto these trees and we watch these trees get decorated as kids bring items in.”
Students are also being asked to purchase light bulbs to illuminate the Christmas tree in the student gathering area for $2 each.
“We accept any cash donations and then we use those donations to purchase the gifts for the family members and anything over and above what we raise we write a cheque back to the Lioness Club,” she said.
Patzer said the fundraiser is a good way for students to give back to their community during the holidays.
“I think it teaches the kids what the meaning of Christmas is – giving and not receiving,” she said. “It helps them be more aware of what’s happening in the community and how we can work together to support families in need.”
For more information on the Light Up a Family Christmas fundraiser, visit mccall.rockyview.ab.ca or call 403-948-7030.