Once again thanks to the generosity of the community over 700 families in need will enjoy Christmas this year through the Santa Fund.
Without city residents dug deep into their pockets during the campaign to give what they could to ensure those families facing financial woes for whatever reason would not go without this holiday season.
And once again without fail residents also gathered at the Troy Armoury to volunteer for the final product of the campaign which is to fill and deliver the holiday hampers.
On Saturday folks young and old, families, individuals, students as well as members of the media turned out to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to pay it forward and give back to the community.
With assistance of the members of the Armed Force's 26th Service Battalion folks circled the floor with shopping carts in military precision while other volunteers packed the over 700 baskets with everything needed for a Christmas dinner for the city's less fortunate families.
For the Kolz family the packing of the baskets has been a 37 year tradition that truly reaffirms that Christmas is about human kindness and community.
“We were married just out of university and so it was our first chance really I guess as adults to be able to do something for the community,” says Mary Kolz of the very first year of helping the fund.
“Once we had Greg our first son, we really thought it was important for him to be part of that giving that you – that Christmas is for giving not getting.”
Kolz explains as her both her children aged it was important to continue the tradition in order to understand that at any moment life could change and they could be in need of help.
“All of us are very close to … I mean who knows what could happen tomorrow we could be the receivers instead of the givers.”
“I think socially that we all have a responsibility on working to be selfless rather than selfish.”
Lana Mitchell, Executive Director for Low Income People Involvement (LIPI) says the Santa Fund takes the heat off of families in the city allowing them to have a special holiday knowing they can pay their rent.
The Santa Fund, which provided gifts to 25 families in North Bay in 1948, was started by Sam Jacks, Ed Dewey and Art Haley through the fire department.
At the time Haley was the chief of the fire department.