Volunteers of the Year: Roy and Mary Baldwin


CFAX Santas Anonymous Society is proud to recognize Roy and Mary Baldwin as our volunteers of the year for 2017.

In their time with Santas Anonymous, Roy and Mary have contributed in almost every way volunteers can. You’ll find them in the malls helping families to pick Santa Bear wishes off of the tree, in the workshop helping to coordinate our operations, and at the warehouse greeting families as they arrive to pick up their Christmas hampers. Whenever you see Santas Anonymous volunteers somewhere in our community, there’s a good chance you’ll find the Baldwins close by!

Most importantly, you’ll find them spreading joy and happiness, with tireless energy and boundless enthusiasm.

Roy and Mary were presented with their award in February, and we are proud to share this news in celebration of National Volunteer Week.

We became involved in CFAX Santas Anonymous over 25 years ago through our friends, Lawrie and Jacki Smith. The growth of the society reflects the need of many in the community, unfortunately, and it would be better if there was no need for what we do! Of course, without that need we would not have met so many of the great people that are willing to give their time and energy to the cause.

I’m not sure that I have a favorite memory as there are so many good ones, but Mary would say how much she loves seeing people who have been helped by Santas Anonymous come to the malls to donate. She loves hearing their stories, helping them choose Santa Bear wishes from the tree, and seeing them teach their children that giving back is important.

Hopefully, we can continue to enlist new volunteers to ensure that this very important work continues until the day comes when there is no longer a need.

 

Roy and Mary Baldwin

Letters from Santas: April 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.

It’s National Volunteer Week!

This month’s Letter from Santas is coming out a bit later than usual to coincide with National Volunteer Week from April 23-29. But it’s worth the wait, because instead of just one guest writer, we have two.

We started by posing a simple question to Christine Hewitt, our executive director: “what keeps our long-time volunteers coming back?”

Here’s what she told us:

Why do Santas Anonymous volunteers keep coming back? Family is the key!

Many Santas Anonymous volunteers donate their time because of the sense of family we get from within our organization—a feeling that has kept some of our longest-serving volunteers coming back to serve our Christmas Hamper program for over 30 years. We get it from the close friendship between volunteers in our workshop, where we spend weeks and weeks preparing hampers. We get it from talking with people at our Tree of Wishes displays, and helping them decide how they’ll donate. And we get it from the smiles of the parents and children who come to our warehouse to pick up their hampers.

Our volunteers love that we treat everyone—including our recipients, donors, and sponsors—like we’re all one big family. Once you experience it, it’s hard not to come back for more!

Now that you’ve heard from our executive director, let’s look at it from the other side of the coin. Susan Czypyha, who volunteers in our workshop as a wrapper, wrote in to tell us how she got her start with Santas Anonymous:

My husband and I moved to Victoria from London, Ontario, in September 2015. I joined Newcomers of Greater Victoria in October that same year, and immediately got involved with the fundraising committee. Newcomers was raising funds for Santas Anonymous, and I was one of two people who took our donation to the Miracle on Broad Street radio-thon in December. While talking to staff at Miracle, I discovered that Santas Anonymous was looking for volunteers to wrap gifts in the workshop and quickly signed up.

We are here to be closer to our kids…one in Victoria and one in Vancouver…and their families. We don’t tend to buy the number of gifts we used to buy, as we now see more value in the time we spend together (and we just don’t need so much anymore). I signed up for wrapping because I enjoy it, have time to spare, and see it as a great way to meet new people and feel like part of the community.

The generosity of the people of Victoria is amazing, and I am sure there are lots of smiling faces on Christmas morning amongst the families we help. There is a lot of work done at the workshop, but at the same time there is a feeling of camaraderie and good will. I hope to be part of it again next year.

We say it often, and we’ll say it many more times in the future: without our volunteers, CFAX Santas Anonymous Society wouldn’t be nearly the success we are today. We’re grateful to everyone who’s part of our family, and everyone who has donated their time and effort to a cause they care about.

Thanks to Christine and Susan for sharing their thoughts and helping us to celebrate National Volunteer Week!

 

Learn more about National Volunteer Week at volunteer.ca.

 

Thank You Notes: our volunteer family

Group photo of Santas Anonymous volunteers on Grocery Packing Day

One big happy family

We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with thank you notes! Check back throughout the week of April 11-15 for new messages from our team leaders to the volunteers with whom we work.

April 16, 2016

To everyone in the Santas Anonymous volunteer family:

Family? Yes!

We are a family of sisters, brothers, elders and kids of all ages. We care about one another, we celebrate hard work and accomplishments, we laugh together and sometimes we grieve together.

We share our resources and expertise to plan for the future, and we deliver the bounty received by donors with those that need it most. We are a very large family–one with hundreds of individuals that share one common goal: to help our local children.

Our volunteers live in all corners of our community, keeping our ears to the ground and fingers on the pulse of Greater Victoria. And when an opportunity arises to help a child, we never shy away from the task at hand…whether we’re in the workshop, warehouse, board room, or main office, at a special event, delivering hampers, or getting the message out online and on air.

Let’s continue to grow into the future and expand our marvelous family, generation by generation. You make a difference every day with your gift of time, your gift of expertise and your gift of love.

I am blessed to know and work with each and every one of you. So this week–and every week of the year–I celebrate YOU!

Thank you!


Christine Hewitt
Executive Director


Christine Hewitt has served as the Executive Director of CFAX Santas Anonymous since July 2010, overseeing all of the organization’s programs and fundraising activities. Throughout the year, she works with a team of dedicated volunteers and board members to build the Society’s capacity while providing ongoing assistance to children and families living with poverty.

Thank You Notes: board of directors

CFAX Santas Anonymous's 2015-2016 Board of Directors

CFAX Santas Anonymous’s 2015-2016 Board of Directors

We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with thank you notes! Check back throughout the week of April 11-15 for new messages from our team leaders to the volunteers with whom we work.

April 15, 2016

To our board members:

I would like to thank the members of the CFAX Santas Anonymous Society’s board for volunteering your time and talents.

We’re blessed with a group of people who have come together as a cohesive unit focused on strengthening the charity for the future. By all accounts, we are succeeding because of your important contributions. Our current members bring an awe-inspiring mix of talents and skills; and we all bring the same dedication to the cause.

Our board members also actively volunteer their time in all sorts of other ways–from helping in the workshop, to working special events, to committee work and many things in-between. That tremendous spirit of volunteerism makes this all possible.

I enjoy spending time with each and every one of you during our (sometimes lengthy) board meetings. CFAX Santas Anonymous is richer because of you, and I’m richer because I know you.


Ryan Price
Vice President


Ryan Price 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 has served as Vice President since 2013. 

Thank You Notes: warehouse volunteers

 

We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with thank you notes! Check back throughout the week of April 11-15 for new messages from our team leaders to the volunteers with whom we work.

April 14, 2016

To our warehouse volunteers:

I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped pack up 4,500 bags of groceries this year, all those who put in long hours on pickup day, and finally those who put in countless hours cleaning and preparing the warehouse for these two major events.

It is your fantastic support which makes all this possible.


Dale Smith
Warehouse Team Leader


Dale Smith has volunteered with Santas Anonymous for over 20 years and became our Warehouse Team Leader in 2015. He managed the daily operations of our storage and staging space, while leading the planning and organization of our grocery-packing day and hamper pickups by families in need.

Grocery Packing Day (time lapse)

The assembly line

Cardboard collectors