Christmas cheer rang through Fergus last Friday at St. Joseph Catholic School’s Annual Sponsored Families Christmas Day Fundraiser.
Mike Burt, teacher organizer of the event, has been operating this event in some capacity over the past ten years - seven of which have been at St. Joseph in Fergus.
“Over the last ten years, we have raised well over $40,000 for families in need at Christmas. The goal has always been to make sure that we can make a Christmas happen for them,” explained Burt. “In years that we have had extra money, we have additionally purchased items of need for the Wellington Food Bank.”
The Christmas Day Fundraiser provides a fun Christmas filled day for students, while collecting donations for those in need. With COVID guidelines in place, the process for sponsoring families has shifted, but the concept of contributing to local families at Christmas has stayed the same.
“The sponsored families are primarily from our school community, and we always help multiple,” he said. “This year we have many families in need, and due to COVID, we will be giving them gift cards as opposed to shopping for them.”
Although the Christmas Day Fundraiser looked a little different this year, the students came together for a day of Christmas crafts and outdoor activities.
“This year, we had to adapt due to COVID. We organized schoolwide crafts to take place on the Friday morning and with Christmas music playing over the PA, each classroom completed their crafts in their own rooms,” he explained. “The crafts were varied based on the students ages. We had a number of wonderful staff members help to organize the day.”
While the Christmas Day Fundraiser promotes Christmas cheer in the school, the support garnered from the event goes beyond the classroom.
“The response this year was extremely positive,” he said. “We ended up having an incredible year and at this point, we have raised over $4500.”