A Regina teacher has turned her classroom into Santa’s workshop to help kids in need have a present to open Christmas Day.
Suzanne McMillan is a Grade 8 teacher at St. Jerome School. Since moving to Canada from the United States five years ago, she’s started a tradition of having students act as Santa’s elves to teach them the importance of volunteering.
“I just wanted to make an impact here in Canada and spread what I’ve always learned – that it is important as a person to inspire people and to give back something larger than yourself,” McMillan told the 980 CJME Morning Show Thursday.
McMillan has taken part in Santas Anonymous for five years.
The long-running campaign from 980 CJME and the Salvation Army takes in donated toys and wraps them to give to children in need over the holidays.
The Regina teacher said she researched Santas Anonymous and ultimately decided it would be a great way to teach her students about charity.
Her class organizes the toys so they are ready for the official wrap day at Regina Food Bank on Dec. 16. She then brings two classes, usually Grade 6-8, to help wrap presents that day.
McMillan said the project has been a hit among the students.
“They absolutely love it,” she said. “The experience they feel, they said, ‘I learned humility, it gives me a new perspective on life,’ or ‘it’s my chance to give back to the community.’”
McMillan noted many of the students ask their family members to come out and join them on the wrap day as well.
Santas Anonymous is still accepting toy donations up to Dec. 12.