Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit November 22, 2012 - 7:55 am

Be an angel this Christmas: donate to Iqaluit’s Angel Tree toy drive

Iqaluit Angel Tree Society seeks donations of toys or cash

DAVID MURPHY
This is angel logo of the new Iqaluit Angel Tree Society, which wants to make Christmas brighter for children in Iqaluit.
This is angel logo of the new Iqaluit Angel Tree Society, which wants to make Christmas brighter for children in Iqaluit.

This Saturday you can get into the generous spirit of the Christmas season in Iqaluit by donating presents and cash to the Iqaluit Angel Tree Society’s booth at the annual Christmas Craft Fair in Inuksuk High School.

More than 200 kids are slated to receive Christmas gifts from the volunteer group, even though the Iqaluit Angel Tree Christmas gift donation campaign almost didn’t take place this year. 

Its lead volunteer and organizer, David Seamone, left Iqaluit and his job at the Northmart, which also served as the home base for the Iqaluit Angel Tree.

There, at the big Christmas tree, people could drop off toys for underprivileged children in Iqaluit.

When this past October came around, and nobody had stepped forward to fill Seamone’s boots, Corinne Attagutsiak and others involved in the Iqaluit Angel Tree campaign took action.

“We were thinking… okay, either we register as a society now, or we don’t do anything,” Attagutsiak, now Iqaluit Angel Tree’s treasurer, said. “And just for the sake of David Seamone’s [legacy], I said we just can’t let this die down. So we decided to keep it going.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

Three weeks ago, the group registered to become a society because, as Attagutsiak puts it, “we just had to do it.”

Now, the Iqaluit Angel Tree is in a transitional phase — and there’s no actual tree yet.

But plans are in the works to keep supplying the demand for toys for the more than 200 children already signed up to receive donated Christmas presents.

Attagutsiak says it’s a good thing the Iqaluit Angel Tree is now an independent society.

“We’ve always operated with Northmart. [But] with our main contact gone, and the fact that we’d really like to have some transparency with the funds afterwards, this is the next step,” Attagutsiak said. 

The Iqaluit Angel Tree Society will keep the same focus — buying Christmas presents for children in low-income households.

And plans are coming together to team up with the Royal Bank of Canada, Stuff 2 Do Toys and Games, and Coman Arctic to collect donations of money and gifts.

For now, you can donate money and gifts at Coman Arctic, or at the RBC, where, when you donate money, you will receive an angel with your name on it, which will be placed on the bank’s wall.

Cash donations will go towards buying the toys at local stores — which benefits the local economy as well as contributing to a good cause, said Attagutsiak.

Attagutsiak would also like to send toys to other kids around the territory. “But that I think is very ambitious and definitely something we can address in 10 years time,” she said.

You can visit the Iqaluit Angel Tree’s booth Nov. 24 at the Christmas crafts sale from 11 a.m. onward, where there will also be baked goods and other donated gift items for sale.

And, if you’re a family that is interested in receiving gifts for your kids from the Iqaluit Angel Tree, you can fill out an application at the income support office at the first floor of the Brown Building, building number 940.

You can also consult the Iqaluit Angel Tree’s Facebook group here for updates about events and where to donate, and contact information for potential volunteers. 

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