Despite bitterly cold weather, warm hearts and generous hands generated volumes of food and money during the 16th annual Stettler Charity Checkstop last Saturday.
“Stettler and area residents donated a total of $5,031,” Stettler RCMP Sgt. Duncan Babchuk said in a news release.
Babchuk said he was grateful for the generosity of donors and volunteers who contributed to help support needy families and others at Christmastime.
“In addition, one van-load of food and one van-load of new toys and clothing were also collected.”
Last year, the charity checkstop raised more than $4,000 in cash and one truck-load of food and toys, Babchuk said.
Local police partnered with the Stettler Regional Fire Department, Stettler Emergency Medical Services, Heartland Victim Services, Students Against Drunk Driving from William E. Hay Composite High School, County of Stettler peace officers and Alberta Commercial Vehicle Enforcement to collect donations on Highway 12, just east of 70 Street.
In previous years, the checkstop was located on Main Street, just north of the highway intersection.
This year’s donations are allocated to Stettler Christmas Hamper Society and Stettler and District Food Bank, which are scheduled to receive the donations this week.
“We thought Highway 12 would have more volume of vehicles, so we decided to change the location this year,” Sgt. Babchuk said.
“We probably would have had more donations if the weather were not so cold.”
He said that additional participating agencies and vehicles onsite helped all volunteers to cope with the weather.
“All of the emergency services thank everyone for their weekend charity donations.”
Over the years, the community has strongly supported the campaign.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to do something meaningful for those in need during the Christmas season,” Sgt. Babchuk said.
Collections for the campaign will be accepted until Dec. 25.