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Holiday Wishes Tree Campaign Kicks Off

By Adam Riley Nov 17, 2022 | 6:23 PM

As we move closer to the holidays more and more charitable campaigns are beginning to ramp up, including the Holiday Wishes Tree.

Its a partnership between the Children’s Aid Society and the three Walmart’s here in Thunder Bay that stretches back three decades.

For Rose Bakke, this year is somewhat bittersweet, as she officially retired Thursday, marking this the last campaign kickoff of her career. She understands the difficult choices families are making these days with costs for basic items.

“With Christmas approaching, sometimes things like gifts are really hard for families to be able to meet that need. So this particular campaign is all about being able to give children, youth and families the gifts they would love to have at Christmastime.”

How it works, at each Walmart there will be a tree, with little snowmen ornaments on them, each one with a name of a child or teenager, their age, and what they are hoping to get for Christmas.

Shoppers take the snowflake, purchase the gift, and leave it at Walmart. There volunteers will take the gifts and get them to their intended destinations.

Volunteer program manager Charmaine Cades says for some, a flashy gift isn’t always what is being requested.

“A lot of our youth who live on their own could be  16, 17, 18 and for them they’re asking for things like a shovel. Things to clear their stairs so they can get out to go to their job and such. So for them to get a Tim Horton’s Gift Card, or a boardgame, or a BlueTooth ear phone is really quite meaningful.”

Last year the campaign managed to connect 320 gifts to deserving youth, and organizers are hoping to up that for 2022 to 350.



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