The pandemic has forced Barrie & District Christmas Cheer to pivot.
For the first time in the organization’s history, they have been forced to shift the entire campaign to a financial one this year, rather than the community coming together to collect physical donations of food and toys to fill hampers for nearly 1,800 families.
The agency, which began in 1974, anticipates application numbers will be on the rise because of COVID-19 and its effect on the local economy.
The fundraising target is $250,000.
Financial donations typically bring in only one fourth of the value of what Christmas Cheer distributes to families each year, but local suppliers come through with significant value per donated dollar.
After consulting with the local Public Health Unit, additional changes to the Christmas Cheer campaign for 2020 will include:
- A brand new online applications system
- No physical donations of any kind will be accepted (this includes, food, toys, toiletries, gift cards, handmade items or clothing)
- No volunteer opportunities will be available to the public
- Launch of a new gift card program for all recipients of Christmas Cheer
- New online platform for those wanting to host a virtual fundraiser for the agency
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Barrie & District Christmas Cheer wants the community to know that they are deeply committed to running their campaign safely, and will be there for their recipients in 2020.