Letters from Santas: February 2017

Do you know what keeps Santas Anonymous busy throughout the year? Follow our “Letters from Santas” series to learn more about the people at the heart of Santas Anonymous, and why we love what we do.

February’s guest writer

It’s February 2017, and we’re bringing all of our volunteers from 2016 back to the workshop for our annual volunteer-appreciation party. With this in mind, we’ve asked Ryan Price to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and what’s to come.

Ryan has been on air with CFAX 1070 since 2005, and is currently the station’s News Director and Morning Anchor. He joined the Santas Anonymous Board of Directors in 2011, and recently stepped up to become our current president.


As we start 2017, I begin my first full year as President of CFAX Santas Anonymous Society. I assumed this role late in 2016 in the middle of our busy Christmas Hamper program, and my initial focus was on spending time at the workshop and warehouse getting to know the many people working behind the scenes.

I’ve always known about the astounding job our volunteers do and the impact they have in the community, but I was happy to devote some time over the last few months becoming better acquainted with this astounding operation. I have fond memories of bagging groceries with the help of my two kids, wrapping gifts in the workshop, watching the crew organize mall tables, and much more. I loved talking to all of you and hearing your ideas and suggestions.

Looking ahead to 2017, now is the time for us to evaluate where our charity is and where it needs to go. We’re making great strides growing up as a society, constantly improving in areas such as financial management and operational organization. I want us to maintain the momentum and continue finding better ways to enhance the lives of Greater Victoria children in need, year-round.

As we reflect on another great Christmas Hamper program, I’d like to send out some thank-yous.

I want to thank our Past President, Dan Deringer, for his time leading our society. During Dan’s time at the helm, I watched our organization grow and take on military efficiency! I’m so happy that Dan will continue leading the Christmas Hamper program and being a major part of our volunteer efforts.

I want to thank the Board of Directors for all of their hard work, from serving on committees and volunteering in the trenches to contributing at 1420 Broad Street, where our station members promote and support our activities. We’ve accomplished a lot.

I want to recognize, Katie Lauder, who joined our staff this past fall to support our Executive Director, Christine Hewitt. As our charity grows, it’s getting harder for management to fall on one single set of shoulders; Katie has been a welcome addition and a great asset to Santas Anonymous.

And, I want to thank the volunteers who are the real reason we succeed.

I’m looking forward to another great year for CFAX Santas Anonymous, and to my first full year as President.

Sincerely,

Ryan Price
President, Board of Directors

 

Letters from Santas: January 2017

Remembering Lawrie Smith
Lawrie and Jacki Smith

This month’s letter is dedicated to the memory of Lawrie Smith, who passed away on January 1st, 2017, after battling ALS for over a year.

Lawrie will be remembered by everyone at Santas Anonymous for his generous spirit, warm heart, and thoughtful leadership. In our December Letter from Santas, he wrote about how lucky he was to be “part of such a marvelous adventure”. In the years to come, his impact will be felt throughout our operations, from the way we do certain things to the family members who have taken up his cause.

Santas Anonymous would not be what it is today without people like Lawrie Smith, and we will never forget him.

Continue reading »

Happy holidays!

Our Christmas hampers have been collected by local families in need, ensuring that they’ll have food for the holidays and gifts to be opened on Christmas Day. Our work is done, and our 2016 hamper program draws to a close.

We’re grateful for the thousands of donors and supporters in our community. Thank you for helping us serve more families than ever and raise a record sum of $579,370 during our Miracle on Broad Street radiothon. Your continued support inspires us to do more every year.

We’re grateful to our local firefighters, who delivered hampers all over Greater Victoria. Thank you for reminding us of all the brave people in emergency services working on behalf of our community every day.

And we are grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who put in countless hours over the past year. You volunteered in shopping centres, wrapped gifts in our workshop, and packed groceries in our warehouse. You organized events, coordinated operations, and kept this giant machine running smoothly. And when families came to our warehouse to pick up their hampers, you greeted them with smiles, entertained the children, and brightened their spirits for the days ahead. Thank you for the energy and enthusiasm you bring to Santas Anonymous and the people we serve.

Working together, we made this holiday season better for hundreds of families in Greater Victoria. More importantly, we let them know that they are not alone. Thank you all for making a difference in our community. We couldn’t do this without you.

From all of us at CFAX Santas Anonymous, happy holidays and best wishes for 2017.

It’s not too late to donate!

Our Tree of Wishes displays have left the malls and our hampers have been delivered, but we accept donations year-round. With your help, we’ll support families dealing with crises such as house fires and other disasters.

Throughout the year, you can bring your donations of new toys and clothing to our office at 1420 Broad Street, where the front desk is staffed 24 hours a day. Monetary donations can be made online via CanadaHelps.

Another Miracle and a new record

The phone lines are closed, and this year’s Miracle on Broad Street radiothon on CFAX 1070 has come to an end. With your contributions, we raised a record $579,370 to provide food for local families in need.

You can still help! Pledge online via CanadaHelps, or drop by a Tree of Wishes display in a mall near you to make a donation or fill a Santa Bear gift request for a child or teenager.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us make a miracle!