The joy of Christmas comes from many things: spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts, or baking cookies for Santa. For Tbaytel, the joy of the season comes from taking the time to give back, which is why the company is continuing with its 12 Days of Christmas program for a fifth consecutive year.
“The holidays are a time to celebrate, but they can also be a stressful or lonely time for many people, so the 12 Days program is a way for us to spread a little bit of extra Christmas cheer,” explains Amy Meunier, Director of Marketing & Communication at Tbaytel. “It’s important for us to give back, not only to those who support Tbaytel year-round but also to people and organizations in the communities we serve.”
Since 2015, Tbaytel’s 12 Days of Christmas has recognized deserving non-profit organizations and people across northwestern Ontario through a series of exciting daily surprises over the course of 12 days in December.
From random acts of kindness like bagging groceries or pouring coffee, to hosting events in schools and giving away gifts to help make the burden of holiday spending a little lighter, planned Christmas activities give Tbaytel employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and meet people in their community outside of their typical work setting.
For 2019, Tbaytel’s 12 Days of Christmas included the following surprises:
Day 1: Hosted a free public skate with snacks from the concessions at Grandview Arena
Day 2: Organized a clothing drive and made a donation to Community Clothing Assistance in support of their Undercover Program
Day 3: Made a donation and delivered non-perishable food to the Family Centre Food Bank in Fort Frances
Day 4: Shopped for, packed and delivered gift bags for residents at the Kenora Women’s Shelter
Day 5: Organized a food drive for the Dryden Food Bank in partnership with students and staff at St. Joseph’s School and matched with a donation
Day 6: Surprised kids and families with prepaid game cards for patrons at Wacky Wings
Day 7: Handed out gift cards, mittens and hot chocolate to spectators at the Thunder Bay Parade of Lights
Day 8: Purchased Christmas trees for Kiwanis Tree Lot patrons
Day 9: Worked as baristas at Sweet North Bakery and paid for customers’ orders; Sweet North paid it forward by feeding parking meters on Court St. over the lunch hour
Day 10: Shopped for ingredients, prepared and served a hot meal for clients at Shelter House Thunder Bay
Day 11: Made a donation to Evergreen: A United Neighbourhood; purchased toys and held a Christmas carnival for their after school program with a pizza dinner and gingerbread decorating
Day 12: Performed a Christmas concert with carols and baking at Sister Leila Greco with students from St. Francis School
The 12 Days program also gives community members the chance to spread some cheer of their own. Each day, one reindeer is placed at different locations across Thunder Bay and other northwestern Ontario communities. Once found, each reindeer comes with instructions on how to choose a charity, to which Tbaytel will then make a donation in the finder’s name.
Charities of choice for the 2019 program included Grace Place, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA).
“It’s become a great tradition in our community, and every year it serves as a reminder both for us at Tbaytel and for our neighbours across the region that we have the power to bring joy to others,” says Meunier. “It’s always amazing to see how these gestures, no matter how big or small, can make someone’s day at a time when they may really need it.”