CHESTERMERE – Christmas With Dignity is a local charity that helps families in the community throughout the year, not only during the holiday season.
This past August, they helped a working mom to get to work by providing her with gas cards.
Community Resource Coordinator Angela Normand said that this family’s situation was, and still is, complicated. She said that they tried to hook them up with other outside support opportunities, but that there there wasn’t a whole lot they could do to help.
In the end, they ended up providing them with some food, but the most support they could pass on was giving the mother gas money in order to get to work.
“The family lives in southeast Rocky View,” Normand said. “The father is completely unable to work due to a severe, life treating illness.
“It’s a really unfortunate situation for them, as he is very sick.”
Normand said that the man’s wife went back to work, and although she works hard every day, they still struggle to make all ends meet.
“She just told me today that she wants people to know that she works tirelessly,” Normand said. “They are cutting corners and biting the bullet on a lot of things.
“She said they’re trying as hard as they can, and that they’re grateful for everything they receive that helps them even in the smallest way.”
Normand said that the situation went from the husband providing for the family, to the wife having to go to work and provide for the family on her own, while still having to take care of her husband and daughter.
“She has to provide the income, plus being a caretaker to her husband who is ill,” she said. “She not only work to pay bills but she also look after him, and their daughter isn’t well either, as she just recently had surgery.”
Normand said that they are a hardworking family that has been hit hard, and that being able to provide help to those who really need it is a great feeling.
“Being able to provide for them in any way is very rewarding,” she said.
This week, Christmas With Dignity will be sending out 24 hampers to families in the community who are in need. They will be accepting donations in the coming weeks and into the new year, and Normand said that any donations and support is always appreciated.
The “Christmas on the Lake” event will take place this Saturday, Dec. 17 with all proceeds going to Christmas With Dignity. It will take place at Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a gingerbread house contest, facepainting, a silent auction and a special “Christmas store” for kids ages four and up, where they can shop for holiday gifts for family members. Kids can also visit with Santa Claus, who will be downstairs at the Chestermere Public Library.
The gingerbread competition judging will begin at 2 p.m., and the silent auction will close at 2:30.
To donate to Christmas with Dignity, visit the Community Services reception desk at Town Hall during regular business hours. There will also be donation boxes at several locations in Chestermere. For more information, call 403-207-7060