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Welcome to the start of the 2015 Adopt-A-Teen Christmas campaign!

Right through Christmas Eve, being Thursday, December 24, 2015, Adopt-A-Teen will be asking, soliciting, and in the home stretch begging, those of you with big hearts to make them even bigger, to add one or two or more under-privileged Edmonton teens to your Christmas list, teens that will only know that somebody out there cares about them.

Adopt-A-Teen is the Edmonton Sun-sponsored Christmas gift program for teens 13 to 17 living in the city’s under-privileged families.

Adopt-A-Teen uses your donation to buy a $50 Adopt-A-Teen Walmart gift card … for, we hope, each and everyone of those 8,600 teens living in low-income households.

Eight thousand, six hundred teens are a lot of teens – approximately 10% of the teen population of the city. And at $50 each, Adopt-A-Teen needs raise a lot of money, i.e. $430,000 in the next three weeks.

Adopt-A-Teen was started way back in 1999 by now semi-retired Edmonton Sun columnist Graham Hicks.

Upon being told by a single-parent mom that she had no money to buy her two teens Christmas gifts once her basic bills were paid, Hicks began fund-raising for the teens.

Obviously, teens fell through the cracks back then. Today, thanks to Adopt-A-Teen, they don’t. That is, as long as Edmontonians can reach into their pockets and ensure all 8,600 kids – living in families registered with the Edmonton Christmas Bureau and The Salvation Army – get a gift.

The mechanics of giving to Adopt-A-Teen are easy enough. You’ll find on this website a DONATE button on the homepage. Please complete the basic information on our secure donation site to make a credit card donation.  Within a few minutes you should receive by e-mail both confirmation of your donation and a charity tax receipt.

You can also, thanks to our firefighters, make a credit card, cash or cheque donation at any of the city’s firehalls. Or you can mail a cheque, made out to “Adopt-A-Teen”  to Adopt-A-Teen, c/o The Christmas Bureau of Edmonton, #200, 4230-118 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5W 1A4

This year, we are very pleased to announce that Dan “The Can Man” Johnstone is serving as Adopt-A-Teen’s honorary chair.

Dan is well known for his lively efforts to raise funds and cans of food for the Edmonton Food Bank. What people don’t know is Dan grew up with his brother in a low-income single-parent family where his mom struggled every day to make ends meet.

Dan and his brother were Adopt-A-Teen gift card recipients for four years. Receiving that gift card, from people he didn’t know, made him determined to do the same thing and give back to the community when he grew up.

Dan, along with Edmonton Sun columnist and reporter Claire Theobold, will be the spokespeople for Adopt-A-Teen this year, along with the occasion appearance of Graham Hicks.

If you’d like Dan, or Claire or Graham to come and speak to your office, or school, or club, please don’t hesitate to call or email Graham at 780-707-6379, or graham.hicks@shaw.ca

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