Santa's Christmas Angels to get early start

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August 25, 2016 12:00 AM

It might seem a little early for talk of Christmas, but one Lloydminster resident is putting the word out early for her charitable holiday endeavour. 
For close to six years now, Janice Procyshen has been giving the spirit of Christmas to local families in need by gathering donations of food and gifts so those down on their luck don’t have to do without.
After spending years pondering how fortunate her own kids had been during the holidays, Procyshen realized she wanted to provide that same experience for those who, for whatever reasons, couldn’t provide it for themselves. And thus, Santa’s Christmas Angels was born. 
“My kids are in their 20s now, and I thought I just want to pick a family in need and give them a nice Christmas; of course I thought about it for many years and never did anything then I just said, ‘I’m going to do it,’” said Procyshen. “So I went on Facebook, because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own, and went on one of the groups and put it out there and I had a bunch of people messaging me, offering to buy this and that and it just kind of took off from there.”
When Santa’s Christmas Angels took off, she decided to pick two families a year to benefit from the project, for which she gathers donations of food and gifts for all the members of the families who are chosen.
This includes full breakfasts with items like bacon, sausage, eggs and pancake mix, to entire Christmas dinners with the likes of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and produce.
Every member of both families, including the moms and dads, get about eight presents each to put under the tree as well. 
“I put it out there usually around this time of year on a couple of the groups on Facebook and I give them a link to the (Santa’s Angles) group—I keep it kind of private, I don’t want the families to know,” she said. “People (in the group) will usually give me names and situations of families that could use it and I just kind of go from there.”
Procyshen generally likes to choose young families to receive the goods because the whole thing is very much geared toward providing children with the chance to experience the magic of the holidays.
The reactions from the recipients over the years tend to end in tears of joy, said Procyshen, as it must be humbling for the families to have the deliverers show up, donning their Santa hats, and offering them so much good will and charity.
“It’s just important to let people know they’re not alone and to let them know what a great community they live in,” she said.
“Honestly, so many people want to help, it’s just unreal; it’s all about helping and caring and letting people know they’re not alone at Christmas.”
Anyone who wants to lend a hand or donate can contact Procyshen at jancar88@telus.net, or join her Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1622514304744565.

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