The holidays should be a joyous time to celebrate with loved ones, eat great good, and look forward to the year ahead, but for many, the holidays are a time of financial stress. During this ongoing time of uncertainly around the world and here in the Calgary community, many families are struggling to make the holidays feel special.
For over 20 years, Calgary Academy has come together for the annual Adopt-A-Family and Cool Kids Care initiative to support those who need it most. In partnership with the non-profit organization, Closer to Home, CA proudly donated over $13,000 in gift cards last year, allowing recipients in the Calgary community to use those cards to shop for their families for the holidays.
“The staff each year at CA unanimously say, ‘absolutely, we must do Adopt-A-Family.’ This is part of who we are, and this is our tradition. When the chips are down, that’s when our CA families seem to step up the most,” said Sarah Hoag, Director of Learning, who started Adopt-A-Family in 1997 to help students understand how other families in Calgary live.
This year, Kindergarten-Grade 6 students will be matched with a child in the Calgary community through the CA initiative, Cool Kids Care. In the past, students would go as a class and purchase gifts from stores in the city, but now, all donations are being made online. This way, gift cards can be purchased directly, and the partner family can buy exactly what their child wants. For Grades 7-12, each class will participate in Adopt-A-Family and students donate based on what their partner family has requested.
Typically, senior high school students volunteer to lead the project with Sarah, but this year, CA students are leading the organization of these initiative as part of their international travel studies volunteer requirement of their trip.
“What excites me about Adopt-A-Family is seeing altruism at its best in action. It makes me so proud to be with an organization that doesn’t just say were altruistic, but we live it. The sense of pride that students have when they bring gifts in for people they don’t know, fills my soul. At the end of the day, it’s about the students understanding the importance of altruism,” said Sarah.
To support a family during this holiday season, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CalgaryAcademyAAF2021