Calgary, AB (February 6, 2017) – With STEP’s dollar-for-dollar match, the total amount raised by its professionals in the 2016 Christmas Spirit Campaign was $30,029 in Canada, and $12,300 in the US. Each year, STEP challenges its service centers and professionals to fundraise or make a community impact to those less fortunate. These charities are personally chosen by the service centers and go to help some of society’s most vulnerable – women, children, and families with less fortunate means.
More information about each service center’s charity and donation follows:
Blackfalds: Blackfalds Christmas Bureau | $7,513.50
The Christmas Bureau is a subsidized program through the Blackfalds Family and Community Support Services, and operates solely through donations and relies on the generosity of the Blackfalds community. One hundred percent of the donations go to local individuals and families in need. For the 2016 season, STEP's financial contribution helped feed 62 families, 33 seniors or individuals, and provided gifts and toys for 162 children. In addition to its financial contribution, Blackfalds professionals also donated food and toys.
Red Deer: Red Deer Christmas Bureau & Food Bank Society | $8,456.50
The Red Deer Food Bank provides emergency food assistance for people in Red Deer; monetary donations are stretched to help the community and provide nutritional requirements to those who need it most. During the month of December 2016, the Red Deer Food Bank was able to help over 900 adults, 500 children, and 300 families. STEP Red Deer professionals also donated food and toys in combination with its financial donation. There was also a team of professionals who volunteered with the Mustard Seed to cook and serve dinner.
Calgary: Calgary Seniors Resource Society & The Calgary Women’s Shelter | $9,017
STEP’s head office in Calgary supported two different charities: The Calgary Senior Resource Society (CSRS) is an agency that provides a variety of innovative and much needed programs to seniors throughout Calgary with the goal to end senior isolation and help them remain in their homes as long as possible; The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES) is focused on ending family violence and abuse in the lives of Calgary women, children, youth and men. Monies raised help provide hampers full of food, toiletries and gifts to single-parent families, as well as seniors who are alone during the holidays.
Fort St. John: Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope | $3,508.50
The Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope provides clients with support services and accessible resources, such as addictions programming as well as a drop-in food line six days a week. The Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope assists in increasing access to safe and affordable housing for all residents in need and represents the first step in breaking the cycle of homelessness in a supportive environment.
Grande Prairie: Wellington Resource Centre (Sexsmith and Area Christmas Hampers) | $1,533.50
The Wellington Resource Centre (WRC) is a partnership between Peace Wapiti School Division 76 and the County of Grande Prairie. Programs offered by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in the WRC focus on promoting the healthy development of children and families; and improving the quality of life for families, seniors, youth, children and adults.
Floresville: Floresville Food and Pantry & Children’s Alliance of South Texas | $12,300
STEP’s US division held a similar campaign to support the Floresville Food Pantry and Resource Center (FFPRC). The FFPRC is an all-volunteer organization formed in 2014 by a coalition of nine houses of worship and concerned citizens. Its main purpose is to overcome food insufficiencies and hunger in Floresville, and is dedicated to providing for the needs of hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products; educating the community about hunger; and providing comprehensive support services to promote the emotional and physical well-being of those in need. The Children’s Alliance of South Texas (CAST) has provided services to over 630 children and their non-offending caregivers since October 2013. The children who visit the Child Advocacy Center have endured a lot in their young lives: physical and sexual abuse; the witnessing of a crime; exploitation through the Internet; child pornography; risk of abuse and/or neglect or human trafficking. The child advocacy center plays a unique role in providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to child victims of abuse.
STEP’s Christmas Spirit Campaign – Total Since Inception
Since 2013, with the company match, STEP has raised over $80,000 for community charities. This means with this year's donations, as a company, STEP will have donated over $100,000 to charity through the Christmas Spirit Campaign alone.