Santas Anonymous celebrates 50 years of wrapping presents for children in need

The annual Santas Anonymous presenting wrapping event celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday.

The fundraiser, put on by 980 CJME, has wrapped around 50,000 presents for children in need over the past five decades.

This year over 100 volunteers lined up early outside the Regina and District Food Bank to wrap 3,500 presents for 1,500 local children.

"We have had so many volunteers that come down each and every year to wrap to ensure that no child is left without a present under the tree at Christmas,” said Sarah Mills, the news director of 980 CJME.

Roxanne Brown is a volunteer who has been participating in Santas Anonymous for 21 years and said there are many factors that keep her coming back.

"Partly the kids, they keep asking 'when are we going?' and partly because it's just a need. It's a huge necessity. There are a lot of kids out there that need to have a good Christmas morning, and this is how you get it,” said Brown.

But the popularity of the event has also made the annual event more efficient, since Brown began volunteering over two decades ago.

"In the beginning it was a longer day, there wasn't as many people coming to volunteer. We've had days where we've been here until 3 o clock in the afternoon, but lately in the past couple years a lot more people are coming out and we're getting the job done sooner,” said Brown.

A cheque was also presented to the Salvation Army for $500,000, half of which will go towards enhancing Santas Anonymous in the coming years. The other half will be used to launch a program aimed at getting children out of the cycle of poverty.