Letters from Santas: April 2016

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.

April’s guest writer

Christine Hewitt, Executive Director of CFAX Santas AnonymousChristine 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, Christine 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.

I am pleased to write the inaugural “Letter from Santas”, because I love connecting with the community that Santas Anonymous supports and is supported by. You’ll hear from me a few times a year in this space, and I’m looking forward to sharing the thoughts of other guest writers with you.

Let’s start by catching you up on the past few months at Santas Anonymous.

So…Happy New Year!

January was a busy hub of activity in our office. Blessed and grateful with the outpour of support from our community in December, it was time to say “thank you”! We mailed hundreds of tax receipts and connected with the many businesses that provide services and support for our Christmas Hamper program. Meanwhile, our volunteers worked to return equipment and organize our workshop.

In February, we brought over 100 volunteers together to celebrate another successful Christmas and enjoy each other’s company…at a much slower pace! It’s always heartwarming to hear the stories our volunteers tell, and to share in their experiences.

In addition to the toys and clothing left over from December, we continue to receive new donations throughout the year. And as fast as it comes in, much of it goes right back out the door:

  • We provided Pediatric Emergency Activity Kits to Victoria General Hospital that will be given to children waiting for tests, while also stocking the pediatric ward and emergency room
  • Toys, games and learning activities were delivered to the Intra Cultural Association for new refugee families
  • And still more toys were given to non-profit daycares and the Pacifica Housing Youth Virtues group

March brings our fiscal year end, and that means a lot of meetings for our board of directors, committees, and work groups. While closing out the previous year, we’re also looking ahead with our strategic-planning efforts and new initiatives. 2016 is our 39th year, and we’re building a future in which Santas Anonymous is always ready to help children in need.

This brings us up to April, and Canada’s upcoming National Volunteer Week (April 10-16). We’ll have more to say about our fantastic volunteers, but for me the message is heartfelt: I couldn’t do my job without you.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Santas Anonymous a success in 2015!

Christine Hewitt
Executive Director

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