With YOUR help, the Hants County Christmas Angels was able to raise over $41,000! This included our 2015 Annual Telethon on December 6, as well as donations that came in both before and after the event, and blew our goal of $30,000 away!
With such incredible support, we were able to help approximately 219 families, and 450 children!
Plus we had 11 Wishbook families this year, which included several new sponsors who were very happy with their participation.
Our Tree of Hope gift tag program was a great success, with local businesses hosting the Trees and filling close to 500 tags, which are then collected by our Coordinator. Delores Arsenault in Mount Uniacke, always one of our greatest supporters, filled 150 tags – thank you, Delores! Other businesses that hosted Trees included West Hants Middle School (100 tags filled!), Scotiabank Hantsport, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board (125 tags filled!), and these Windsorites: CIBC, Scotiabank, RBC, Rossy, and Home Hardware. Thank you all so much for your participation!
Other special mentions include Windsor’s Home Hardware which supported us in many wonderful ways even beyond their Tree of Hope; Rose Real Estate and Chuck Porter for the Toy Drive; and Swinamer’s Building Centre, for their Toy Drive and also for significant donations towards gift cards for our teenaged recipients.
Building a partnership with Matthew 25 Food Bank and the Salvation Army helped us to ensure that our help was distributed as fairly and widely as possible within Hants County. We also tried to make sure that families who don’t meet the income requirements but were still struggling (the “working poor”) were supported wherever possible.
The Hants Christmas Angels have made several significant changes in the delivery of our programs over the last two years, including raising the age limit of eligible children and providing recipients with gift certificates and gift cards (instead of cheques) in addition to the purchased and donated gifts we’ve always given. The amount of support we can provide is directly linked to the amount we can raise. Because our fundraising total was higher than last year, we were able to give more to each family!
Almost all of the gifts purchased by the Angels were purchased locally, which was a wonderful opportunity to support our community. Rossy’s formed a Santa-rific team to work closely with our Coordinator, selecting gifts from the store to fill her requests. With the hundreds of gifts donated by members of the community, matching gifts to program recipients was a gratifying experience.
We were also able to purchase local food gift cards from Brooklyn District School during their own fundraiser.
Along with a great board of directors, our success is really due to an amazing troop of volunteers. It is our volunteers who are able to run the annual Telethon, and many of our volunteers have been doing it every year for many years. Since they don’t often make it into the headlines, we thought it might be time to recognize just a few of them. Check our facebook and twitter soon for some special stories!
A special shout out to Marney, who organizes and handles all aspects of food and refreshments for the performers throughout the day. She makes it all look downright effortless, but don’t be fooled–it’s an incredible feat! We even managed to get a photo of her, but promised we wouldn’t post it online 🙂
Joan Langille personally manages the cash desk. She takes what could be a very complicated system and runs it smoothly and with great dedication. Her help is invaluable.
Lloyd Smith was our Honorary Chair for 2015. Lloyd is a well-known figure in the community, and his long-time service to the Angels over the years added a revived energy to our Telethon (and our meetings) this year.
Liz Robinson donated a beautiful painting for the winning bidder of the Sou’Wester during the Telethon.
New Boundaries was wonderful for helping to put out our Telethon signs in the community, as well as helping decorate the Community Centre for the Telethon.
Partly because the weather was cooperative–and there were no fire calls!–our local fire departments (Windsor, Hantsport, and Brooklyn) were stellar this year, bringing in a record amount of donations. Many thanks too for young Lilly, who held a bucket almost as big as herself to collect donations at Sobey’s!
Several local individuals and businesses ran their own personal fundraising events and donated their proceeds to the Angels during the Telethon. Leesa at Our Mother’s Keepers collected beautiful hats and mittens in a Pop-Up Shop, Mary Ruth Cochrane of Windsor United Church collected huge bags of new hats and mittens for applicants, Janet Singleton donated the proceeds from ticket sales of a beautiful photo, Avonport Baptist Church held a Community Christmas Tea, Ginger LeBoutillier‘s donated a Travelling Kindness Rock for auction, and another individual donated beautiful collector’s dolls to be auctioned off during the event.
Every year, being a part of the Christmas Angels is an amazing, heartwarming experience. Why don’t you join us next year?