Students at Barrie Wilson get into holiday spirit

The holiday spirit is alive and well at Ecole Barrie Wilson Elementary School as the fourth annual Christmas Market was held on Monday.

Parents of students donate a variety of gently used items from home decor, to household items, toys, books and more. The items are sorted by category by parent volunteers and students can then ‘shop’ for their Christmas gifts. There’s only one rule, they cannot shop for themselves.

“Parents come in with boxes of donations, so I think people look forward to donating and then obviously it’s a really fun day for the kids,” said Principal Chris Good. “They are pretty proud to shop for their presents and then go home with them.”

After students pick out their gifts, parent volunteers are on hand to wrap them up to ensure there will be no peeking before Christmas.

The recommended donation per gift is $1, but Good said some students donate more and if a student is unable to donate, they still get to shop.

In past year’s between $1,500 and $2,000 has been raised from the event. This year, the money raised will be going towards the Barrie Wilson Benevolent Fund and the Lindsay Thurber Christmas Hamper Program.

“A portion will go to our Benevolent Fund for students who don’t have, but who need,” said Good. “The majority goes towards the Lindsay Thurber Christmas Hamper Program. It’s a really good cause and it helps a lot of families in Red Deer. It’s amazing what they do and it’s great we can help out.”

This year, Lindsay Thurber plans on delivering about 250 boxes of food to 76 families across Red Deer.

Good said it’s important to give back to the community through the Christmas Market.

“Christmastime is really exciting for kids, but oftentimes they are thinking about what gifts they are going to get or what they are going to receive, where this is all about giving. They can’t take a gift for themselves and it’s all about the people in their family,” he said. “We’re really teaching the kids the importance of giving and bringing joy to others this time of year.”