The Fort’s first annual Cram the Van fundraiser for Families First Society was an overloading success.
The two day event was hosted by the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre, stationed at the local Walmart from December 16-17.
“They were hoping to cram a van full of new toys for families in Fort Saskatchewan and they didn’t only cram the van one day, they ended up cramming it twice,” said Families First Society director, Heather Boonstra.
Donations included toys and even some food and cash donations.
Boonstra said one of their garage bays is now filled with toys they can share with the community. Some will be distributed over Christmas, while the rest will be used throughout the year and some incorporated into their lending library.
“It fills us with gratitude to be trusted by folks to be the hands that accept the donations on behalf of the community and then get them into the homes of people who need them. Parents are always so grateful when they receive anything donated,” added Boonstra.
What gives her the most pride, is being able to say that the donated items are “from your village, they care about you, they care that your children are well, that you’re well, they have your back.”
This allows families to see themselves as part of a whole and that they live in a community that cares about them, she said.
"The holidays can be a tough time for those in need, officers here looked at a way that we can give back to those less fortunate and that's how the Cram the Van campaign was initiated," concluded Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre intelligence officer, Chris Gibson.