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FCSS Christmas programs in full swing

Donations still being accepted for Christmas Spirit program
WES - FCSS 2021 Photo
Maureen Schiller, Tracy Proulx and Carol Kassian pose with toys that will be used in the Westlock and District Family and Community Support Services Christmas Spirit program. The program creates unique toy baskets that are handed out to participating families along with gift cards to be used for food.

WESTLOCK – Westlock and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) holiday programs are in full swing with just over a week left to sign up for the Christmas Spirit program.

The donation-based program aims to bring the Christmas spirit to every house in the region by providing lower-income families with toys and food.

FCSS hopes to reach its $15,000 goal before the Dec. 10 deadline. The money will be used to create unique toy baskets that will be handed out to participating families.

Toy donations can be made at the FCSS building, while cash donations can be made online at or dropped off in person. FCSS program coordinator Maureen Schiller adds that only new toys can be donated due to COVID-19 precautions.

“We’re looking for toys and we’re always in need of teen gifts, which can be a struggle for us,” Schiller said. “Cash is always acceptable too.”

The program will follow the same format as last year where those participating in the program will be assigned a specific time to pick up their items, which helps reduce crowding and contact. Schiller says FCSS implemented this appointment-only method last year and says that not a single family missed their appointment.

“It ran really smooth so we might keep this moving forward,” Schiller added. “The community has always been really generous, and we really want to thank them for their support over the last years. We hope that people will consider donating and that they enjoy the holiday season.”

FCSS is also offering an Adopt-a-Family which matches sponsors to registered families who receive toys for the children and food gift cards.

The program, which had been ongoing for years, was put on hold last year due to COVID-19.

Sponsors can select the size of family they wish to provide for, or FCSS can match them according to the amount they can spend.

“Really another way of donating for the community,” said Schiller. “They have the option to shop for a family.”

Sponsors can spend anywhere from $150 to $400 on both stocking stuffers and food gift cards that the family can use to enjoy a warm winter meal. Families provide FCSS with a list of gift ideas that are supplied to sponsors to help point them in the right direction of what to purchase.

Those curious about the programs can contact FCSS at 780-349-5900.

Spencer Kemp-Boulet,

Spencer Kemp-Boulet

About the Author: Spencer Kemp-Boulet

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