A Calgary family has found a unique way to raise funds for Inn from the Cold. The Reindeer for a Reason project was started three years ago by Jo and Al Williams and their two sons. According to Jo, it began as a school project with father and son duo Al and Kerry about measurement and math by making reindeer, but the project quickly turned into a micro-social venture involving the whole family. With the herd selling out in its inaugural year.
The family was both surprised and delighted with the success of the reindeer sales and wanted to donate the funds raised to a local organization. “This is a family project and we wanted to choose an organization that supported families, “ says Jo, “so Inn from the Cold seemed like a natural fit, supporting our vision of how the efforts of a single family can support many families.”
Inn from the Cold raises thousands of dollars every year through third-party fundraisers like Reindeer for a Reason.
“We would like to sincerely thank the Williams Family for the creative approach they took this holiday season to help raise funds for Inn from the Cold,” says Fund Development Manager Jennifer English at Inn from the Cold. “It is because of their efforts, and so many others in our community who choose to support us through third -party fundraising activities, that we are able to serve and support children experiencing homelessness. We really appreciate the support.”
The family’s generosity has not gone unnoticed — the project has gone viral. With Calgarians posting about #reindeersightings around the city and has attracted the attention of American media outlets with the family scheduled to make an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan on December 28.
According to Jo, her family is both humbled and shocked by the attention. She feels that “this is proof that a grassroots initiative can grow.” Jo hopes that the success will inspire other Calgary families to do similar fundraisers to help families in need in the coming year. With that giving spirit in mind the plan is to expand reindeer building activities in 2021, with the hope of including the local community.
There is already a waiting list for next year’s herd, but for more information you can contact the Williams family through their website.