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Kelowna business community get in the giving spirit
Giving more Okanagan children a taste of Christmas cheer has motivated a group of local business people to embark on a new giving initiative.
Local realtor Tracy Verkjo explained that she and her husband teamed up with Csek Creative to create KelownaSantas.com, a website that allows families that are struggling to access a resource of men and women who are in the giving spirit.
"We've been taking part in charities every year and last year we helped the S.H.A.R.E Society," said Vrecko, explaining that she gained inspiration seeing children receiving gifts when they may otherwise not.
"Just seeing how happy the children were was so amazing. To bring happiness to everyone all you need is a happy child, so we decided to change our focus."
With the new endeavour, those who need a hand just have to go to kelownasantas.com and input the name, age and gender of their children. Then they wait for the big day.
On the giving end of the spectrum, Vrecko and team will be collecting new unwrapped toys in boxes or under trees at their business location. The local business will be using their in store social media and traditional marketing channels to encourage their staff and customers to drop off toys.
Gifts will be collected until Dec. 16, and then picked up by Vrecko and team in the following two days.
A wrap party where the toys will be sorted by gender and age and wrapped accordingly will take place before the big delivery.
"(My husband) will be dressing up as Santa to deliver the gifts," said Vrecko. "He doesn't know that yet."
There's also another benefit to getting in to the spirit of Christmas. Vrecko has two young children, and she says it's difficult to teach them about how the season is for giving, not getting.
Last year, when they were wrapping presents for other children, Vrecko explained to her son what was happening and why, and that's a lesson she intends to build upon.
For more information, go to KelownaSantas.com