Marc Bence/for metro edmonton
Hundreds of homeless and at-risk youth were given plenty of Christmas cheer yesterday after two-dozen soldiers escorted Santa Claus into the Youth Emergency Shelter for a holiday visit.
The soldiers from the Edmonton-based army reserve unit’s 15 Service Battalion offered kids at the shelter some one-and-one time with the jolly man, who laughed like a bowl full of jelly as he handed out gifts for his tenth annual visit.
"This shows the kids that people really do value them, especially during this time of the year," said Deb Cautlay, with the shelter.
A parade of military vehicles, led by Santa in an army logistics truck, was seen leaving the Lieutenant Colonel Debney Armoury early yesterday morning before it arrived an hour later at the Whyte Avenue shelter.
After handing out toys, the soldiers gave the shelter a $3,000 cheque in support the shelter’s year-round recreation programs.