Thank you for visiting the Spirit of Christmas – Shoeboxes for Kids Page!
The story behind the Spirit of Christmas begins with a bucket list. To this day, Debra’s dream is to hand out shoeboxes to impoverished children in the orphanages of the Ukraine. Her goal is for the shoeboxes, and the cost of the trip for her family, to be provided by sponsors. Not content to just wait for that day to come, Debra chose to move toward her goal of seeing and feeling the excitement of Christmas by helping local children. In 2008, she signed her husband, family, and colleagues up to support school children of diverse cultures that were from low income families within the Edmonton school system. In all, 120 shoeboxes were handed out that year at St. Jerome School and the Spirit of Christmas was born.
Fast forward 3 years and the Spirit of Christmas event has grown to over 600 children from various elementary schools. Past supporters have included: Costco, The Little Potato Factory, The Grocery People, Safeway Canada, IGA, Jitterbee Pancakes, Inc., NAIT Culinary Arts department, staff from Covenant Health and Alberta Health Services, and other community partners.
Each shoe box is a simple gift filled with treasures and includes: a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, a toque, a pair of mitts, and a juice box, and a nut-free granola bar. Every child receives a gift no matter who they are, what they have, or where they come from. Santa’s delivery is about the sharing the Spirit of Christmas with one and all.
This year’s proud supporters include Lexus of Edmonton, Jitterbee Pancakes, Inc., Capital Concierge, and Creative on the Move. The Millionaire Woman Club, a women’s networking/meet up founded by Debra Kasowski, will also be donating $2 from every monthly membership it sells.
With many of the goals we have in life, we cannot succeed without the help of others. After the first year, my husband Stephen, took the reins and helped me spearhead the Spirit of Christmas campaign and form an incredible team of elves (volunteers) who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! Stephen has helped this evolve into something much bigger than I ever dreamed. I am so blessed to have so much support from family, friends, colleagues, and people I have never met. It is about the children and giving from the heart! Without individuals like you dreams cannot come true. My bucket list item has now snowballed into dream for many others. For them, this has become an annual tradition. We have created a family in the spirit of giving. Our goal is to deliver 1000 shoeboxes within the next 5 years. We know we cannot do this alone.
Help bring Christmas to some children in need in our city. Contact Debra Kasowski at Debra@themillionairewoman.com to make a donation or to volunteer.
There are a few ways:
- Your group or organization can adopt a classroom and prepare shoeboxes for that classroom.
- You can donate money.
We ask that you donate a minimum of $5.00
- You can prepare a shoebox.
- You can come to a school to help feed the children and deliver shoeboxes.
Yours in the Spirit of Christmas,
Debra & Stephen Kasowski and Santa’s Elves