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[email protected] Christmas charity delivers gifts to Saskatoon kids

It feels like Christmas morning at Princess Alexandra School.

As Christmas carols ring out through the classroom, some of Santa’s elves are making a special delivery.

It’s all part of [email protected] – an annual Christmas charity that reaches every single classroom at five elementary schools in Saskatoon, filling almost 1,000 shoe boxes full of presents.

Each child receives a gift with their name on it.

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“Each child receives a gift with their name on it,” said [email protected] volunteer Colleen Konecsni. “A shoe box filled with fun things, a few necessities and always a candy cane right on the very top.”

Since 2006, the program has helped brighten up the holidays for many kids in Saskatoon. Grade 1 teacher at Princess Alexandra, Brittany Garland, has been a part of it for six years. She acknowledged this is a huge deal for the children.

“They love this,” Garland said. “Lots of our kids don’t have the means to get lots of things at Christmas time and our families do the best they can with what they have.”

Items like toothpaste and soap are treasured gifts.

Princess Alexandra student holds up the toothpaste she received in her shoe box.

“One of their favourite things is a new toothbrush, new toothpaste, getting socks, or getting new things for outside, like mitts and toques,” Garland said.

When [email protected] started 13 years ago, Princess Alexandra was the first school to receive gifts.

“It’s a special school for us, it’s a special day for the kids in particular,” Konecsni said.

Grade 1 student at Princess Alexandra reacts to her gift.

For both students and volunteers, it’s a moment they won’t soon forget. Konecsni has been a volunteer for the past eight years, she said being a part of the program brings her joy year after year.

“Just to see the kids and their excitement when they open up their gifts,” Konecsni said. ” There’s screams, there’s laughter – it’s just a really fun day.”

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