Doing What’s Best for Kids

FMPSD Giving Back: Spreading Joy and Cheer During the Festive Season

Posted on: General News

(Fort McMurray, AB - December 22nd, 2023) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) schools are well-known for their active involvement in community service and charitable initiatives throughout the year. In December, the schools of FMPSD took their charity efforts to the next level by participating in several initiatives that aim to give back to the community during the festive season. From Salvation Army Angel Tree Tags to Food Bank donations and donations to local agencies, FMPSD schools are at the forefront of spreading joy and cheer to those in need during the holidays. 

One of the most prominent initiatives is the Salvation Army Angel Tree Tags program, designed to help provide Christmas gifts for hundreds of thousands of children across Canada. FMPSD schools participate in this program every year, collecting and distributing gift items to be donated to children who may not otherwise receive any gifts during the holidays. This initiative provides a sense of hope and joy to children facing difficult times and helps them feel like they are an essential part of their community. FMPSD proudly announces that every school completed their Tree Tags, some even requesting more. FMPSD schools completed over 400 Tree Tags for children across Canada.

Another initiative FMPSD schools participate in is Santa’s Anonymous, an annual event that provides much-needed support to families experiencing financial difficulties during the holiday season. This program serves as a beacon of hope for families struggling to make ends meet, giving them a little extra assistance to help ease the burden of holiday expenses.

FMPSD schools also participate in the PEAK Christmas Wrapping project, which involves students from various schools volunteering to wrap presents for families who might need more time or resources to do it themselves. This program helps to spread joy and cheer during the holiday season and promotes a sense of community spirit among the schools and their students. The event was incredibly successful, seeing participation from all PEAK schools, such as École McTavish, École Dickinsfield, Christina Gordon Public School, Dr. K. A. Clark Public School, Fort McMurray Christian School and Walter & Gladys Hill Public School. Thirteen local families will receive all the gifts wrapped during the event.

In addition to these programs, FMPSD schools all contribute to the local YMM Food Bank during the Christmas season by donating canned goods, non-perishable food items, and other essential household items. These donations are critical to supporting the needs of families in the community who rely on the Food Bank for assistance. Schools went above and beyond by offering donation bins for collection during annual holiday concerts; this went a long way as FMPSD successfully donated over 1000 pounds worth of food donations.

During December, FMPSD schools also made fiscal donations to local agencies in town, such as Stepping Stones Youth Services and the Fort McMurray SPCA; both agencies recently received separate donations of $3000 from school-wide initiatives. In addition to the various charity initiatives described above, Fort McMurray Christian School students are also participating in Chores for Change, an innovative fundraising initiative organized by the Legacy Water Foundation; the initiative encourages students to raise funds over the holiday season by doing chores for people in their local communities. These donations help make a real difference in the lives of struggling people during the holiday season and demonstrate the schools’ commitment to building a stronger and more caring community for all. 

FMPSD has been an integral partner in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) Snow Angels program since its inception in 2009. The program, which aims to assist those in need during the harsh winter season, started as a pilot project in the downtown core, utilizing students from Dr. K. A. Clark and Fort McMurray Composite High School. However, over the years, it has evolved significantly and now covers the entire urban service area of Fort McMurray.

FMPSD schools have played a crucial role in supporting the program by encouraging students to participate as Snow Angels. Over the years, the FMPSD schools and their students have stood out as exemplary participants in the Snow Angels program, contributing significant time and effort. The program operates on a 48-hour turnaround, which aligns with the municipal bylaws. FMPSD schools have consistently provided enough volunteers to fulfil all requests within the allotted time. This engagement has proven to be a mutually beneficial opportunity, as students gain valuable experience by giving back to their community and learning the importance of civic engagement and social responsibility.

FMPSD schools are committed to positively impacting the Fort McMurray community, especially during the holiday season. Through initiatives like the Salvation Army Angel Tree program, RMWB’s Snow Angels, Santa’s Anonymous, PEAK Christmas Wrapping, food bank donations, and local agency donations, FMPSD schools help spread joy and cheer to those in need during the festive season. FMPSD’s Give Back initiatives undertaken by schools during December demonstrate the importance of community spirit, empathy, and the power of coming together to help those in need. These initiatives provide much-needed support to families and individuals during the holidays and contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate community for everyone.

For additional information, contact:

Momin Syed                                                           
Communications Coordinator
Fort McMurray Public School Division