Santa Sacks: How Volunteers Help Make Christmas Special for our Families

Posted on January 6, 2017

What started as a request to help make Santa Sacks for Ronald McDonald House has since become an annual tradition for a group of local women.

When long-time RMH volunteer Ann Dowling was approached in October 2011 to make Santa Sacks for families staying at the House in Calgary, she immediately wanted to help. With 30 fabric sacks to sew and a short time to make them in, Ann got to work. She sewed every sack herself that first year, putting in hours of work. The following year, she recruited her friends Sandy, Rita, Pat, Sharron, Theresa and Christine to help. The seven met at Sandy’s House and worked together to sew these beautiful handmade gift bags for every family.

Since then, this amazing group of women has continued to sew Santa Sacks for families at the House over Christmas time. Ann and Sandy purchase the material needed and the friends gather in Sandy’s sewing room – now jokingly referred to as “Santa’s Workshop” – to stitch the sacks.

Once complete, the sacks are filled with gifts from generous donors and given to each family on Christmas Day. These handmade sacks go a long way in helping make Christmas special for the families who must spend the holidays away from home.

Santa Sac


On behalf of all the staff and families who stay at Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta, thank you for making Christmas magical!

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