Making Christmas a little brighter for kids in Quebec youth protection


It can be a difficult time of the year for children who are in Quebec's youth protection system.

That`s why some youth protection workers and volunteers do their best to make sure the kids have a nice Christmas.

"Every year for the last 36 years, we`ve been trying to put a little smile on our kids' faces here at Batshaw," said Frank Campanile, who works at Batshaw Youth and Family Centers. 

"They just want to say, Here`s a little something for you, we`re thinking about you."

When Campanile started this Christmas campaign, they were getting gifts for 14 children and youths. Now they're at 1400.

Campanile and his colleagues try to help Santa out at this time of year when many families don't have any extras for Christmas.

"Ìt`s different for everyone - some people can, most people can't. And during this period of time, COVID is upon us, it's causing a lot of problems," said Campanile in an interview with CJAD 800.

Campanile said their work starts in October but that the pandemic has meant scrambling for donations from companies and form letters replacing letters to Santa.

Then they deliver the gifts to the children's homes or group homes. But there are some things that money can`t buy.

"A lot of them would say, for Christmas I want to go home. Or I want to see my mom. Or I want to go out and have dinner with my dad. Or I want to see my siblings," said Campanile.

Campanile said they do their best to give them a little something from Santa - that could be anything from Amazon cards or makeup to coats and t-shirts; one 4-year-old child asked for a cat but pets as gifts aren't possible.

"I can`t always promise them that they're going to get exactly what they'd like to have. I mean, some kids think big. It's ok. Who doesn't? We all do," said Campanile.

"We can make their days or make their life a little brighter."


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