Central Alberta AIDS Network Society needs a little help spreading the love this holiday season.
Starting on Dec. 17, the CAANS NightReach team will hand out gift cards to those experiencing homelessness on Red Deer’s streets for a total of 12 nights straight to Dec. 26 and again on Dec. 31 and Jan.1.
It will be the third year in a row the team has giving out downtown business gift cards to the homeless people.
They are looking for donations of giftcards to local businesses.
Jennifer Vanderschaeghe, CAANS executive director, said they could use a helping hand in making those 12 days memorable for the people.
She said homeless people tend to get tons of stuff on one day of the year and it is a stressful time of year. She said they want to make the time special for them.
“The (outreach team) also wants to check in with people too,” she said. “Of course meals aren’t alway set up the same during the season or they are in different locations. A lot of services are closed. This helps us give people some stuff to do and food to eat but in gift giving way.”
Typically they hand out $10 gift cards to places like Carnival Cinemas, Tim Hortons, City Roast or transit tickets. The gifts may also include mandarin oranges, candy canes or holiday cards. Vanderschaeghe said if people want to donate money instead of gift cards that is an option too. They will be given tax receipts through the agency and the agency will buy the giftcards.
CAANS was able to purchase 139 $10 gift certificates during last holiday season.
For more information visit www.caans.org or call 403-346-8858.