MyCityCare Okotoks' Shop of Wonders is returning.
The annual program functions as a pop-up toy shop providing families who could use a hand this holiday season with a free shopping day.
It's made possible by toy donations from the local community, as well as a group of dedicated volunteers.
Donations can be dropped off at donation points that can be found all across town, with 19 in total.
MyCityCare Okotoks director Lorna Jewer says families can register online and from there, the process is pretty simple.
"Once they get registered we'll send them out a link to book a time to come in to shop. Once they've arrived, they'll get greeted and checked in, and a personal shopper will help them pick out gifts for their children. Then volunteers bring those gifts to a wrapping station, and the gifts get wrapped and carried out to the client's vehicle before they leave. This is all completely free."
She says volunteers take care to make families feel welcome.
"All of our volunteers do our best to make the experience as welcoming and as positive as possible. Since the program continues to grow, we still have people who are a little apprehensive about asking for help and we just do our best to put them at ease."
Often erroneously referred to as "Little Shop of Wonders," Jewer says it's anything but little.
"In 2022 we were able to help over 1,500 individuals through our program, and of those, 875 were children receiving those gifts."
This year's Okotoks Shop of Wonders is located at the Bighorn building at 106 Southbank Road.
They're holding an open house for businesses and organizations to stop by and see the Shop of Wonders firsthand on November 26 from 7-9 p.m.
MyCityCare is accepting sponsors for the program at several tiers and is inviting anyone interested to attend the open house or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewer says it's always a community effort to make the program run smoothly year after year.
"I want to express my appreciation to the individuals, businesses and agencies of the Foothills that support us at MyCityCare. We wouldn't be able to help our community the way we do without the contributions and financial support that comes our way. Thank you Foothills for helping us help others."
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