Share the Spirits needs a little more support to fill this year’s Christmas toy list for families who could use the assistance.
Lead elf Nicholas O’Carroll of the Whitehorse Firefighters Charitable Society said this morning they still need gifts for about 160 children.
They have the Christmas food hampers covered off for the 319 families on the list, along with hampers for an additional 20 they expect will come in over the next couple of days.
They have sponsors for 514 of the 661 kids on the list, but they expect the list to grow to more than 700 this week.
O’Carroll said those interested in sponsoring a child can go on the Share the Spirit website to become a sponsor.
But time is short, as Share the Spirit needs a commitment by Thursday evening for sponsors.
Gifts have to be dropped off at Elf Central located in the old Mic Mac dealership at the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue by 7 p.m. Friday, he said.
The lead elf said Santa always seems to come through.
Just yesterday, sponsors for 60 children stepped up following a post on social media, and another 30 came in this morning, he said.
O’Carroll said sponsors should expect to spend about $50, or between $50 and $75.
Share the Spirit itself is sponsoring about 50 right now with money it receives through donations and toys it receives from the Northwestel toy drive.
But the financial donations it receives are generally reserved for the following year, as they like to keep ahead of the Christmas rush, he explained.
O’Carroll said when they took over Share the Spirit from The Kin Club in 2016, they inherited a surplus and they try to maintain it.
If the organization had to dip into the bank account to cover this year’s gift list, it would leave it short heading into next year, he said.
The lead elf said financial donations have fallen off for one reason or another in the last couple of years, just as they have dropped off for other non-profit charitable organizations.
So far this year, for example, they’ve received $15,000 to support Share the Spirit, along with $10,000 put in by the firefighters society through their fundraising efforts.
They’d like to see another $25,000 in the next couple of weeks to put them in good shape to either grow the Share the Spirit effort next year or a least keep it the level it is now, he said.
This year’s supply of food hampers came through with the continued support of longtime sponsor GP Distributing and a couple of other sponsors GP brought on board, he pointed out.
O’Carroll said the hampers have a turkey and all the trimmings a family needs for Christmas dinner.
The time is short to provide gifts for names remaining on the wish list because the lead elf and the throng of other elves who help out have to put together the individual family packages in time to begin distributing them to homes Saturday morning.
Deliveries will be made Saturday to homes in Whitehorse, Carcross and Haines Junction, with deliveries to the other communities beginning next week, with much assistance from Pacific Northwest Freight.
Those who wish to sponsor a child will be provided their age and a list of what of what they’d like for Christmas.
Many of the sponsors wrap their gifts but it’s not necessary as there are elves at Elf Central who’ll help out, O’Carroll said.