Snapshots with Santa in Cochrane help children with cancer

Town’s newest children’s boutique donates proceeds from Santa’s visits to Helping Families Handle Cancer

Snapping photos with Santa this year will be extra meaningful as a new Cochrane company partners with a charity to support families in Alberta with a child diagnosed with cancer.

The city’s newest children’s boutique first opened on Oct. 1 and was blown away when it was approached by Helping Families Handle Cancer (HFHC), a Cochrane-based charity.

Jocelyn Kimmett, co-owner of Four Cubs, said HFHC stepped into the 5th Avenue store in its infancy and asked about participating in a charity auction.

“We were a week old at the time,” Kimmett said. “We didn’t know what to do with that capacity, so we had to decline. But when we got the pictures with the idea of ​​Santa Claus, we thought they would fit well.”

Carie Stock, executive director and founder of the charity, said proceeds from the Santa Claus photos will go to Alberta families struggling to make ends meet while their children undergo cancer treatments.

“Requests can range from rent, gas, groceries, a parking ticket, medications, medical supplies and things not covered in health care plans,” Stock said.

Hospital parking passes, she said, are among the most requested items that families need help with.

Stock, a cancer survivor herself, said she understands the unexpected costs associated with a cancer diagnosis.

The holiday season, said the Cochrane High graduate, can be particularly difficult for families, because alongside all the new medical costs, there is also a desire to give children a merry Christmas.

“People are already having a hard time making ends meet; spending is rising and incomes are falling,” she said, noting that many two-income households fall back to one due to time in hospital or medical appointments, as a parent probably forced to put their work on hold.

Like other charities, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult to navigate, Stock said.

“Fundraising has been a bit of a challenge because we can’t do our usual fundraisers because they are public events,” she said.

Instead, the 13-year-old nonprofit had to adapt and put some fundraisers online, such as their online auction, and apply for grants to fill the gaps.

“For charities (fundraising) it’s very different. The need is greater, the demand has increased,” Stock said. “Charities are most needed when there are major social changes in the world, such as the 2008 crash. Then people give the least to charities and that is the most needed.”

Stock said it’s community partnerships with businesses and community events that help reach their $100,000 fundraising goal.

“We are so excited to share the magic of Christmas with our community while helping raise money for such an important cause,” said the Four Cubs co-founder.

“We are honored to have Santa join us and can’t wait to see the smiles on your little ones’ faces.”

Time slots are filling up quickly, Kimmet said Friday, Nov. 26, ahead of the Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 5-6 appointments.

To book a visit to Santa, call Four Cubs at 403-981-2945.

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