Windsor, Nova Scotia hantscountyangels@gmail.com

Introducing our 2018 Program Coordinator!

Welcome to our Program Coordinator for 2018, Melanie Skelhorn!

Growing up in a rural Nova Scotia community surrounded with strong and caring family connections, I learned early the value in community. From a young age as I drove across the Windsor causeway from Pictou County with my family to visit friends in the Annapolis Valley, I would tell my parents that someday I would live in Windsor. I have always felt this was home. My husband and I live in Hants County with our three boys.

Advocacy for families and youth is a passion that led me to return to university while managing work, family and volunteering commitments. I graduated from MSVU with a Bachelor of Arts Child and Youth Study degree. My roots in the community have led to relationships with many of the amazing opportunities our area has to offer. I am involved in the schools not only as a parent and home and school core member but as an early childhood educator in the pre-primary program. I recently joined the Windsor Nursery School parent executive board as a community representative.

I see the value and positive outcomes through supporting youth and their families. I am excited to join the Hants County Christmas Angels Society as the Program Coordinator.

New for this year, we will be live streaming the Webathon happening December 2nd  from 12-8pm through our link on  www.christmasangels.ca. This allows for family and friends who are away to enjoy the show and share our Hants County community spirit.

I am looking forward to sharing the support of our community that day through my own social media. You can pledge during the webathon at 1-902-798-5050 or online by clicking the donate button.

 

 

Christmas Angels telethon a huge success, with over $45,000 in donations

Article published by the Hants Journal on Dec 4, 2017. To read the article in full and see some great photos, please click here: http://www.hantsjournal.ca/community/christmas-angels-telethon-a-huge-success-with-over-45000-in-donations-167311/

To see more photos of our 2017 Telethon, please check our facebook page!

WINDSOR, N.S. – The donations came in slow and steady at the start, but by the end organizers had crushed their goal of $40,000 by over $5,000, making it their most successful year yet.

Ashley Boyd, co-ordinator of the 2017 Hants County Christmas Angels, said she was over the moon with the response from the community.

“The day went extremely well, there were a few glitches, but that happens with anything,” Boyd said. “For the most part performers were there, people were watching, people were calling in, everything worked out amazingly.”

The final tally at the end of the telethon – a record-breaking $45,495.

“We have never made that much money in the 40 years that the telethon has been happening,” she said. “I don’t know for certain why people were donating in such large amounts, but we started promoting this early on, explaining what this is all about.”

The majority of the funds will go towards the 200-plus families in need this holiday, with some being set aside for a contingency fund, Boyd said.

Major donations came in from several local businesses, community groups and individuals throughout the day, ramping up in the final hours of the telethon.

Boyd said pledges came in from outside of Hants County as well, including Halifax and Kings counties.

“I can’t even describe in words how I feel today,” she said. “It was just amazing.”

For the Hants County Christmas Angels committee, they’re now focused on gathering pledges and purchasing items for the families in need.

“We really need to finish pushing the tags that are left on the Trees of Hope throughout Windsor, Hantsport and Mount Uniacke,” she said. “We will be sorting what things have and haven’t been filled and get to work on that.”

“I’m hoping we’ll help every single family that has applied through our program, which is just over 200,” she said.

Boyd thanked everyone who volunteered, performed and donated during their biggest Christmas Angels telethon ever.

Donations are still being accepted at their website, christmasangels.ca.

Firefighters give big

The volunteer fire departments from Windsor, Brooklyn, Hantsport and Wolfville all worked diligently to raise money for the fundraiser, with some members walking dozens of kilometres to the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre in full bunker gear, where the telethon was held, collecting donations along the way.

Combined, firefighters raised well over $7,000.

Graham Driscoll, firefighter with the Windsor Fire Department was collecting donations at the Atlantic Superstore in Windsor.

“People in Hants have definitely been very kind and very generous,” he said as people were dropping money in a large bucket while walking by. “Many people are in need of help this time of year, it’s fantastic to help out in any capacity.”

Kaleb Biggin, firefighter with Brooklyn Fire Department and Randell Davidson, firefighter with the Windsor Fire Department, walked in bunker gear from Brooklyn to Windsor.

Biggin said the journey was worth it to help out.

“It wasn’t easy, but it was for a good cause,” Biggin said, adding that it was his first year walking from Brooklyn to Windsor in full bunker gear. “It’s nice to see everybody come out and support us the best they can.”

2017 Telethon

2017 Christmas Angels Telethon

Date: Sunday, December 3, noon to 8pm

Location: Windsor Community Centre. Broadcast LIVE on Eastlink TV.

Raising over $30,000 in 8 hours.

We can only do it with your generosity and support.

The Hants County Christmas Angels Telethon is our signature fundraising event. Held each year on the first Sunday of December, all funds raised go to local families. The more we raise, the more children and families we can help. It’s as simple as that.

As a recipient of the Christmas Angels program, I can only say… it has helped so much. I was very afraid and didn’t know where to turn or how to cope with not having any money for Christmas. I felt lost and weak inside and out. This program helped me with not only gifts for my children and things for me as well, but with hugs and emotional support when I most needed it. – Program Recipient

Everyone in the community works hard to help the Christmas Angels succeed. Local schools, fire departments, organizations, individuals, and businesses all work together. Almost 250 volunteers bring the Telethon to our community. Musical performers donate their time too, and we showcase the huge range of talent in Hants County.

Building a partnership with Matthew 25 Food Bank and the Salvation Army helps us to ensure that our help is distributed as fairly and widely as possible within Hants County. We also try to make sure that families who don’t meet the income requirements but are still struggling (the “working poor”) are supported wherever possible.

Want to help?

Please consider becoming a Christmas Angel this year! Our programs rely on hundreds of volunteers coming together for our projects. Contact this year’s Coordinator, Ashley Boyd, at hantscountyangels@gmail.com to see how you can help!

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2016 Christmas Angels was a smash success

2016 Christmas Angels Review

The Hants County Christmas Angels is thrilled to announce that our 2016 season was a smash success. Once we tallied all our numbers this year, we were able to raise $38,688! This included our 2016 Annual Telethon on December 4 which raised nearly $38,000!

With your help, we supported:

Families helped in 2016 – 220

Children helped in 2016 – 450

Included in those totals, we had 19 Wishbook families this year, nearly double our number from last year, which included several new business sponsors who provided families with a full Christmas experience.

Our Tree of Hope Supporters

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, Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, and these locals: Credit Unions (Hantsport and Windsor), CIBC, Scotiabank (Hantsport and Windsor), Sobeys, Rossy, and Windsor’s Home Hardware and Swinamer’s Building Centre. Thank you all so much for your participation!

Special Mentions

Many local businesses and individuals go above and beyond in their efforts to support our programs. Special mentions include Windsor’s Home Hardware which supported us in many wonderful ways even beyond their Tree of Hope, including a new shopping party night at their store, with proceeds going towards our Telethon. The toy village and Santa photos were a hit and raised lots of gifts for our tree of hope this year. Home Hardware also allowed us to co-host the hot chocolate before the Santa Parade which was a great success.

Rose Real Estate and Chuck Porter were again marvelous for the Toy Drive; and Swinamer’s Building Centre for their wonderful support.

Several local individuals and businesses ran their own personal fundraising events and donated their proceeds to the Angels during the Telethon. Our Mother’s Keeper (Leesa White) collected beautiful hats and mittens. Windsor United Church (Mary Ruth Cochrane) collected five Sobeys bags of new hats/mittens for applicants. County Fair Mall, New Minas held a contest, and our decorated tree raised funds towards the telethon. Ginger LeBoutillier donated a Travelling Kindness Rock for auction.

This year our wonderful partnership with the local food bank, Matthew 25 continued with great success; we provided all the toys and food for all their families who applied. Our Coordinator also worked with The Salvation Army as well as the Kennetcook food bank.

As an additional benefit to our community and following our own tradition, food gift cards for our families were purchased from Brooklyn District School during their own fundraiser.

Our Volunteers

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. We’ll recognize just a few of them here:

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 we know better and appreciate everything she does.

Darrin Harvey was our Honorary Chair for 2016. Thank you Darrin for a marvelously well-done job!

Liz Robinson donated a beautiful painting for the winning bidder of the Sou’Wester during the Telethon. Thank you, Liz!

Our local fire departments (Windsor, Hantsport, and Brooklyn) were stellar again this year with their support. Members, many in full gear, march from their respective departments to the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre where the Telethon is being held, collecting donations along the way. Brooklyn raised over $3400 alone, and Windsor and Hantsport together raised almost $2700.

What more can we say?

Every year, being a part of the Christmas Angels is an amazing, heartwarming experience. Why don’t you join us next year?