The money will go toward the local Community Action Program for Children efforts, administered though Carizon Family and Community Services’ Rural Family Outreach Workers.
Carla Muller, Baby Charlotte store owner and Conestogo resident, also donated $5,000 worth of brand new baby and children’s clothing.
She estimates 100 people came through her store – located in Kitchener, but previously in Conestogo – for the fundraiser where kids could get a photo with Santa and some cookies for a good cause. They’re also donating all the money they raise through gift wrapping.
“We had a face painter from Makin’ Faces Face Painting; Cathy’s amazing, she can paint anything. We had little Elsas and little Spidermen running around. It was unbelievable how many kids we had in the first hour and a half. And then very quickly it was naptime,” Muller said.
She spent long nights the week before baking 1,500 cookies, posting updates on the store’s Facebook page as late at 3 a.m.
They’re doing gift wrapping for $1 for a small gift and $2 for a large gift, with all funds going toward CAPC, and there are cookies leftover for sale at the shop.
“We’ve always done a fundraiser of some sort. And from time to time we’ve been really proud supporters of the CAPC. Lynda Kohler and Shirley Redekop are amazing women who I swear they never sleep. They’re everywhere and they really make a difference. They come and pick up a load of bins of clothing from us and they’re immediately ‘you take this and I’ll take this and I can swing by this house on my way home and you can swing by that place on your way home.’ There’s no red tape. It’s amazing. They just say we’ve got this stuff, let’s get it out there to people who need it,” Muller said.
Kohler is the program coordinator at Woolwich Community Health Centre and Redekop is a family outreach worker and program coordinator at Carizon.
The first fundraiser they did was in 2011 where they donated 116 pairs of children’s shoes to WCHC.
“I remember the first year when we had all those shoes. Linda sent me a photo, she showed me this picture of all these little girls, they’re all wearing Pediped shoes, these little glittery shoes and they were all so overwhelmed with having new shoes because they’d never had new shoes before. It’s just amazing,” Muller said.
Muller chooses a different charity each year to give the money raised from gift wrapping, Santa photos, and face painting. They took 38 photos with Santa, which Muller then framed and emailed to the families so they could use them as Christmas cards if they wanted.
They also donated $7,000 worth of clothes to WCHC back in February.
“We’ve been really fortunate and it’s been really good for us here. It’s really nice to give back,” Muller said.