Celebrating Five Years of Holiday Giving with BCO
2021 marks the ✨FIFTH✨ anniversary of our annual Christmas Feast, and the spirit our volunteers brought to the event this year was exceptionally merry and bright- the perfect way to celebrate such a meaningful milestone for us 🎉
2021 Christmas Feast By the Numbers
In Okotoks, we delivered feasts and presents to 4️⃣1️⃣ families, and the smiles we brought to so many happy faces as we made our way around town was without a doubt the best gift any of us could ask for this year!
In Lethbridge, we served 9️⃣ seniors, 2️⃣ families, 2️⃣ men’s shelters & 1️⃣ women’s shelter, spreading joy to folks who might otherwise spend the holidays alone. Making sure they all felt the warmth of the community support we have received this year was a feeling beyond description, brighter the star at the top of any tree💫
Thank You to All of Our Amazing Donors and Volunteers
To everyone who so generously and thoughtfully donated toys or offered financial support, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your kindness made a huge difference in the lives of local families who needed a hand up during a year that has been challenging to say the least! We received so much help from local business and BCO community partners- the gratitude we feel goes right down to our toes.
Extra special thanks to Bar None Ranches Memorial Foundation, CEGEN Environmental Group, Turbine-X Energy Inc., and the Western Financial Group Communities Foundation for so generously making major financial contributions to our Christmas feast this year!
🙏 We also want to give a HUGE holiday shoutout to Sobeys for donating ALL the turkeys and hams on our list in Okotoks, and to Buttercream Clothing for donating 60 beautiful handmade scarves to distribute to the folks we served this year!
And of course, thanks to all of our lovely volunteers big and small, who showed up bright and early to make holiday magic happen. Not only did they selflessly give their time and energy to help us pull off another incredible Christmas Feast, they also made it SO MUCH FUN 👏👏👏
We are truly blessed to be able to channel the holiday spirit into such a heartfelt expression of caring for those in need, and we could not be more grateful to every single person who helped us bring light to the winter darkness. We hope everyone who has been supporting us or following our story shares in the absolutely transcendant warmth and joy our Christmas Feast inspired this year ✨🎄✨
Get in the Spirit with Holiday Giving
🎄✨It's that time of year again! With the holidays right around the corner, our BCO elves are busy making plans and rallying community support as we prepare for our annual Christmas Feast. This is one of our most truly heartwarming events of the year, and it's always so inspiring to see so many local businesses, BCO partners, volunteers and donors give generously and work with our outstanding team to make it all happen, no matter how much it snows or how high demand grows.
If you know a local family in need in Okotoks or Lethbridge, get into the spirit of the season, and 'adopt' them with a nomination!
How it Works:
With generous support from the communities we serve, every year around Christmas Eve our BCO elves visit nominated families and deliver all the ingredients needed for a classic holiday feast, as well as presents for all the children on our list 🎁
Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM any of our social media accounts, and we will take care of the rest!
❄️ Last year our volunteers braved a terrible blizzard and receive the help of many selfless Christmas angels as they delivered meals and gifts to 49 nominated families in the Okotoks area and 5 families, 10 seniors and 2 group homes in Lethbridge. 2020 was the first year we expanded the Christmas Feast to Lethbridge and it was such a tremendous success that we can't wait to do it all again this year!
Call For Volunteers and Donations
We are still looking for volunteers to help us deliver meals and presents to nominated families, and donations of cash and toys/gifts to help us meet the need in our communities, which we are already seeing is higher than ever this year. Fortunately, we are also blessed with an early outpouring of support to boost our efforts, and we are confident we can keep rallying the community to rise to the challenge!
🙏 If you would like to make a donation, please contact BCO directly or visit our account on Canada Helps to give online!
Watch this space for news and updates about this year's Feast as we switch into high gear to bring the brightness of the season to those who need it most ❤️❤️
Now Accepting Donations of Warm, New or Gently Used Clothing in Lethbridge!
This past weekend our amazing BCO team in Lethbridge kicked off their annual Winter Clothing Drive! The need this year has been higher than usual, but the response from the community when we put out the call for help always rises to meet the challenge. We are confident this year will be no exception!
Drop Off Locations and Hours
If you are able to help us assist local folks in need with donations of warm, new or gently used clothing (bagged) for men, women and children, please drop items off at local showhomes by Ashcroft Master Builder, Stranville Living Master Builder, and Avonlea Homes. We are so grateful for the support of these outstanding community partners! Donations will be accepted Monday-Thursday from 2PM-8PM and Saturday/Sunday/Holidays 12PM-5PM. With the holidays right around the corner, we are also seeking donations of toys to make sure all the families we assist this year have gifts under the tree.
Countdown to BCO's 2021 Christmas Feast
This clothing drive unofficially kicks off BCO's holiday efforts to give a hand up to those in need, and our BCO elves are already busy planning our Christmas Feast in Lethbridge and Okotoks. Watch this space or follow us on social media for more information as we roll out our 2021 holiday campaign! In the meantime, if you know of a family in need of a hand up for the holidays this year, please reach out to us with nominations at email@example.com or send us a message via social media.
Supporting Local Families in Need During the Holidays
Our hearts are still glowing with the warmth we were able to share with those in need this holiday season! BCO's 2020 Christmas Feast was a truly amazing expression of the spirit of giving that defines what community is all about. At a time when so many people are facing uncertainty and unprecedented challenges in their every day lives, we received an incredible outpouring of help from local businesses, BCO partners and some very special Christmas angels who gifted us everything from homemade ornaments and baked goods to helping hands when we needed them the most.
On the day of delivery in Okotoks, over 30 volunteers braved a terrible snowstorm, starting at 6:30 am and finishing around 5 pm. Almost every volunteer got stuck in the 40+ cm of snow that accumulated that day, but we were blessed with many kindhearted folks around town who helped dig our volunteers out. The resilience and compassion our team shared with the community was so genuine and heartfelt. We also want to give a special shoutout to our very own Christmas Angel Tamara Boivin, who steered this amazing project from beginning to end.
Christmas Meals Delivered in Okotoks and Lethbridge
In total, we delivered feasts to 49 families in the Okotoks area, bringing joy to 204 individuals, including 108 children. Our BCO elves also made sure every child we met along the way was going to find a toy under their tree! 2020 also marked a fantastic success story for BCO's first ever Lethbridge Christmas Feast, which was able to provide for 5 families, keeping the holidays bright for a total of 55 individuals, including 14 children. Our Lethbridge team included 7 volunteers who worked tirelessly together to deliver meals to people in need within the community. Working with the Lethbridge Food Bank, we also delivered meals to 10 seniors facing the holidays alone, and to 2 men’s group homes with Streets Alive Mission, bringing holiday cheer to another 24 individuals.
Holiday Fundraising with BCO Reached New Heights!
Thanks to the generosity of all the wonderful people who donated, our 2020 Christmas Feast fundraising efforts totalled an outstanding $13, 716.00! These resources will go far to help many people throughout our communities who will continue to face uncertainty in 2021.
We want to offer a huge, heartfelt thank you to all of the incredible volunteers and donors who helped make our 2020 Christmas Feast such an incredible success. We are so very grateful to begin 2021 with such a strong foundation of support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who helped us make a difference in our communities this holiday season!
BCO's annual Christmas Feast is right around the corner. Every year, BCO provides Christmas feasts to nominated families in need of a hand up. Last year, we were able to serve 139 individuals a Christmas Feast and this year we're aiming for more!
Looking to give back to your community?
You can choose to 'adopt' a family this year by contacting us through social media.
We are also currently looking for nominations and donations for this tradition.
Thanks everyone for your big hearts, your time and your donations that made our annual Christmas Feast a huge success!
We had 29 volunteers this year and served 31 families consisting of a grand total of 139 individuals, which includes 68 children! It was a day full of gratitude, community spirit and friendship!
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King
We could not end such a wonderful heartfelt morning without joining back together at Hubtown to extend the feeling that filled our hearts today in children receiving gifts from Santa and all the makings for a Christmas feast!
Special thanks to our amazing supporters in the community, without whom we would not have been able to serve our community today:
Sheep River Health Trust
Hub Town Brewing
Pet Valu (Okotoks, AB - Southbank)
PetSmart (200 Southridge Dr, Ste 681, Okotoks, Alberta)
Christmas Angels - Judy and Louise
Latter Day Saints in Okotoks (Teen group - our giftwrapping team!)
And to Sobeys Okotoks our partner for 3 years now, their dedication and compassion to our community is beyond remarkable! Thank you, David, Jamie and Bruce for always for simply being the humble kind souls you are!
Read the Okotoks Online Article Here: https://okotoksonline.com/local/baby-it-s-cold-outside-bundling-up-for-coldest-night-of-the-year
We are Incredibly grateful to the Okotoks Lions to have been chosen to be their guest speaker for the evening at their Annual event that brings all the Alberta chapters together for an evening of fellowship. It's an amazing organization that serves in so many communities internationally.
We are humbled by the generosity of the Okotoks Lions who have donated $1500.00 to BCO over the past month, as well as gift certificates and gifts for our Upcoming Christmas Feast.
We became members of Okotoks & District Chambers of Commerce.
Our fall fundraiser left us speechless, the support within the community, Town of Okotoks and from the Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce was immeasurable and it allowed BCO to create a new level of awareness of those in need in our communities and how we are all connected, including the importance of seeing each other.
Our Christmas Feast fed 128 people, including 56 children, within 27 families. Every child had a present under the tree. So many supporters this season made this event the biggest act of kindness to date! Huge thanks go out to Okotoks Sobeys, Hallmark Does Hair, Pure Envy Salon, We Wash Windows, Pet Valu Okotoks, Okotoks Culture & Heritage, RBC, Excel Benefits Inc, iDental, The Eagle 100.9, Okotoks Western Wheel Newspaper, Linda (our Christmas angel for making stockings), our Calgary angel who made delicious treats, everyone who nominated a family in need (it's so important to look out for our neighbours during the holiday season), and all of our amazing volunteers who helped bring it all together and deliver the Christmas Feasts to each of our families.
We had an article in Okotoks Living magazine, creating more awareness for our local community of how we offer a hand up and our future aspirations for those in need.
We received an early Christmas present and got our official status as a Registered Charity!
And none of this could have happened without all the support we received from all of you, our volunteers and from our communities throughout Alberta! Thank you.
We have amazing plans for 2019, and we would love to have you join us!
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Happy New Year,
We are a charitable organization based in Alberta, Canada. We are devoted to helping the homeless through various fundraising events, clothing and essentials drives, and our eventual goal is transitional housing.