Kashton Klammer (right) is joined by Zyenna Zinger at one of the tables in front of the Klammers' Blackfalds home where they have been collecting toys, clothes and decorations that are offered free to any who need them.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocare staff

Toys, clothes available: Central Alberta family dispensing Christmas cheer

Klammer family collecting toys and gifts to offer free to those in need

The Christmas spirit is strong in this one.

Kashton Klammer was only six when he saw on the TV news that homeless people would not be having the kind of Christmas he was looking forward to.

The Blackfalds youngster took it upon himself to change that and he donned a Santa costume and delivered gifts to the less fortunate in Red Deer.

“I soon as I saw it on TV in Red Deer it was like they had no stuff hardly,” he said on Thursday.

“We decided to knit stuff and make up stuff and give bags to them and food and water.”

Those who got his gifts were pleased and it made him feel good, he said.

This year, eight-year-old Kashton and his family are spreading Christmas cheer again, this time because of the pandemic in front of their home at 113 Sundridge Avenue.

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At the end of November, he and his mother and grandmother put out a few toys, clothes and other items on a table in the front yard of their home offering them as free Christmas gifts to any who needed them. Since his mother, Janice Klammer and her mother, Karen Cleland, run a day home together they had built up quite a collection of toys and had plenty to spare.

“Well, we thought we’d just leave them out there and hallelujah, after 24 hours there was nothing left and people were messaging me.

“So, I put up an ad for people to help me. We’re up to three tables now.”

The Klammers are thrilled how their small act of Christmas charity has snowballed.

“We thought we could help other kids. We already had the toys. My home kids helped me decide on what toys we would donate and that they didn’t need to play with anymore.

“We cleaned my son’s room and some of his stuff went out.”

In light of the pandemic, they have had to carefully clean donated clothing and toys. On the ad they posted on Facebook Red Deer Buy and Sell (Everything) they ask that those picking up bring their own hand sanitizer. Those donating should also take the necessary precautions.

In the evening, she takes everything that is left on the tables and cleans what needs to be cleaned. Loose toys that have been dropped off are cleaned and placed in freezer bags.

At 7 a.m. each morning, the tables are restocked and the makeshift Christmas bureau is back in action again. She plans to keep going until Dec. 20.

For Klammer, the experience has added a little warmth for what will be a tough Christmas. She also has four adult children and it does not look like more than one will be able to join her for Christmas.

“With the new restrictions I probably won’t be able to see them.”

The Klammers act of kindness has touched many in their community judging by comments left on her Facebook post.

“What a beautiful soul you are. God bless you,” wrote one.

Another said she was coming by because her sister needed baby clothes.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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Kashton Klammer (right) is joined by Zyenna Zinger at one of the tables in front of the Klammers' Blackfalds home where they have been collecting toys, clothes and decorations that are offered free to any who need them.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocare staff

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