CHESTERMERE – Despite its name, Christmas With Dignity is a local charity that helps families in the community throughout the year, not only during the holiday season.
The organization, which came together in 2007, does more than collect toys and pass out food hampers.
In fact, they are an emergency fund that helps provide resources and money to meet the basic necessities like food, medical and dental services, utilities and other needs.
One way that the group has helped out recently, is by providing assistance to a local family who needed help paying their rent.
Community Resource Coordinator Angela Normand said that due to inconstant work, the need to travel for medical purposes, and the demands of young children, the family fell behind on bills. Eventually, they received an eviction notice, and were at risk of losing the home they were renting.
The father, who is a self-employed tradesman, has been struggling with securing a steady income to sustain the family. The mother has a sever physical disability, and is left with limited mobility. She is involved in intensive rehabilitation in Calgary, where she has to travel several times per week.
Normand said that it is difficult for them to find appropriate housing to meet the needs of the mother in terms of her mobility. She said that Christmas With Dignity was able to help the family catch up on their rent.
“With the particular family, the support allowed them to get their feet back under themselves so they could provide for their family again,” Normand said. “They were able to get back on track and have been able to sustain their family’s needs since.”
Normand said that Chestermere is the first community she has worked in that has a type of program like Christmas With Dignity.
“It is incredible that Chestermere has this type of program to offer residents who are struggling a helping hand,” she said. “It is truly an honor to be able to impact others lives in such a significant way.
“When we can offer a family with assistance through Christmas With Dignity, a clear message is sent that others deeply care about them and their situation.”
Normand said that it is an honor for her to be able to work with the community and to be able to facilitate neighbors helping neighbors.
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.
There will also be a holiday community event, “Christmas on the Lake” on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a gingerbread house contest, a silent auction and a special “Christmas store” for kids ages four and up, where they can shop for holiday gifts for family members.