Royal LePage 100 Mile Realty is inviting the community to once again donate non-perishable food and toys to its annual Christmas Helper Event.
Due to COVID-19, the event will run a bit differently than it had in the past, manager Ron Kelly said. Those wishing to donate this year will be unable to enter Royal Le Page’s offices directly but are instead asked to pull up outside the door with their donations and honk.
Members of the staff will collect the donated gifts. Kelly said they also plan to set up a drop-off box.
“Due to the situation with the COVID we actually considered not doing it this year but we’ve been doing it for so long and we figured it really helps out during this really tough season and we’d hate to have to cancel it,” Kelly said.
Royal Le Page has done the event for over la decade now, Kelly said, receiving great support from the local community. Some of the donors have made the event almost a Christmas tradition. The office is expected to become pretty cramped with food and toy donations.
This year, more so than other years, Kelly is encouraging people to also consider donating gift certificates as well. Often, he said donations consist of toys or clothes meant for children, which usually leaves teenagers without any suitable gifts. A gift certificate can be given to anyone, meanwhile, regardless of age.
Donations are being accepted now until Christmas Eve. Kelly said he expects donations to be down slightly this year due to the hardships many are experiencing.
“It’s going to be a tougher season because I think there are a number of people probably still out of work right now, but if they contribute we appreciate it,” Kelly said, adding the realtors will usually donate a few thousand dollars to the event to get the ball rolling.
Red Apple, Save-onFoods and FreshCo have been really good partners to them, Kelly said, usually giving them a discount on goods for the event. When it comes time to distribute the gifts around Dec. 20 to those in need they rely on Loaves and Fishes and the Family Enrichment Centre to ensure they go to those who need them most.