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The fundraiser, which is collecting donations until Dec. 10, is asking for small toys appropriate for children between a few weeks old to 10 years old, winter clothing such as hats, mitts, socks, outdoor games, art supplies, children’s hygiene products like toothpaste and bubble bath, as well as wrapping paper and cereal.
Donations are also being requested for adults including items such as first-aid kits, backpacks and hygiene products like shampoo, deodorant, brushes and combs.
Having once been a single parent, Cassidy-Oleksyn said she understands what families in need are going through.
“I was a teen mom,” she said. “I would say for five or six years in a row at Christmas time, I would utilize Santas Anonymous. I was using the food bank. I was accessing extra support through my parents’ church. I was so blessed to get help even when I didn’t ask for help. I wouldn’t have been able to provide Christmas or even other holidays … for my kids if it wasn’t (for) all of these amazing people out there that wanted to help.”
The fundraiser has several drop-off locations across the city including eight at PrimeTime Donair and Poutine locations, Goodfellows Pub, and Blue Anchor Taphouse and Kitchen. Monetary donations can be made by emailing christmaskidsYEG@gmail.com or contacting Cassidy-Oleksyn at 780-293-9495 via text.
Cassidy-Oleksyn said she hopes to have YEG Christmas Kids registered as a charity in the new year.