At a St. Albert church Saturday, hundreds of kids picked presents for their parents.
“[It makes me feel] happy because I get to do something for my mom because my mom does a lot for me,” nine-year-old Cianna Kellman said.
It’s all part of the Kaleo Collective’s Little Santas workshop. Kids from single-parent families shop for a gift to give to their moms or dads on Christmas.
While they do that, the parents pick up a meal and care package to enjoy at home.
“It’s fun for the kids, and it’s kind of nice for me to see what the girls have picked,” said Cianna’s mom, Angela Kellman.
“It also gives them a sense that, ‘Yeah, we can do something for mom because mom does everything for us.’”
This is the second year for the event and it saw a massive increase in children participating, from 100 to 500.
“It is really the true meaning of Christmas: it’s better to give than to receive,” said Kaleo Collective founder Layna Haley.
“These children all get to experience that which we think is so important and so valuable and so precious at this time of year.”
The gifts are all donated by the community, and there’s a wide variety of items for the kids to pick from like bath products, slippers and ties.
“I think, as a single mom or dad, it is so beautiful and heartwarming to get a gift from your child on Christmas morning,” Haley said.
“I think being a child being able to have the opportunity to give your mom or dad a gift is also just that beautiful double blessing.”
Kaleo Collective is a support group for single mothers.
Kellman said she’s grateful to be part of this empowering community.
“When I first got separated from my children’s father, having that group as a support network made a huge, huge difference,” Kellman said.
“It’s super nice they’re able to do this for all the single parents out there.”
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