The early blast of winter has cooled off donations to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.
“I think the weather is kind of keeping people away, said Christmas Bureau president Teresa Kutynec.
“Usually, we have lots of walk-in donations, but not so much this year. They’re slowly trickling in, but it’s been slow.
“I’m hoping when it warms up things will change.”
This year’s Toy Depot is located at #15 7428 49 Ave.
Volunteers are also welcomed. About 20 people are already lending a hand but another 30 would be nice, she said.
The bureau is planning to match last year’s effort, which saw 950 Christmas hampers handed out to local families and individuals.
There is a long list of fundraisers lined up this year. Some are annual mainstay, but a pair of new events have been added as well.
Toy boxes collecting donated gifts are out in local stores and malls and will be picked up in the week before Christmas. The AMA is also collecting donations at its two locations, 2965 Bremner Avenue and 141, 4004 50th Ave.
On Nov. 30, the Charity Checkstop will be held on Taylor Drive near 32nd Street and will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The same day, the Westerner Bazaar starts and runs until Dec. 1.
The annual toque, scarf and mitten toss is set for the Red Deer Rebels home game on Dec. 7 at the Enmax Centrium. After the first Rebels’ goal fans can toss their new donations on to the ice.
Cosmos Bottle Depots are also accepting bottle and can donations at its locations until the end of December.
The annual Stuff-A-Bus runs at Parkland Mall Nov. 28-30.
Among the new fundraisers is the Red Deer Christmas Show at the Westerner Park Harvest Centre. Local small businesses will show off their wares and give shoppers some options to check off their Christmas lists. Tickets will be sold with proceeds going to the bureau. It runs Dec. 6-7.
A new event, the Canadian Cowboy Christmas Show, runs Dec. 13-15. Entrance is free, but boxes will be out for toy donations and other donations are also accepted.
Browns Social House is also helping out with a pajama donation. Those who bring in a new pair of donated pajamas get 50 per cent off their food bill.
City of Red Deer is also accepting donations in lieu of parking tickets as part of its annual Toys for Tickets campaign. Donations will be accepted at City Hall on Dec. 5-6 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information and event times go to www.reddeerchristmasbureau.cfsites.org.