Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers some frequently asked questions on the various ways to be involved with 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.


Where can I drop off my donation of a new, unwrapped toy?

Click here for year round toy drop off locations. In Edmonton mid-November through mid-December there are toy donation boxes located in various shopping malls, Toys R Us,  Costco, some Wal-Mart’s and ATB Place. There are many other locations. Click here to find out which location is closest to you.

What is the last date for dropping toys off at Santas Depot?

Toys to be considered for this year’s delivery should be at Santas Depot by December 12, 2016. From November 1 – 15 you can drop donations off between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Between November 16 and December 16, the depot will be open weekdays between 9am and 9pm and weekends between 10am and 5pm.

Toys dropped off after December 12 may be used for this year’s late applicant program.

Please do not drop off large donations on Delivery Weekend ,, December 17 & 18.

After December 18, please check the contact page for Santas Depot hours.

Do you accept monetary donations?

Yes. We accept monetary and toy donations year round. You can donate online, by mail, or in person. Click here for donation information.

Why do you not accept gently used toys?

Although gently used and refurbished toys may be perfectly acceptable as gifts, here at CHED Santas Anonymous the decision was made from the start that receiving a new toy at Christmas is special and shows a child that they too are special. Often the gift received through our program is the only gift that a child receives that Christmas. If your used toys are in good condition and not in need of repair, we encourage you to find a home for them by contacting agencies such as Goodwill, Bissell Centre or the Salvation Army.

We would like to do a promotion (or our office is having a Christmas Party) and we would like to raise toys and/or funds for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. How do we get approval for our project?

We appreciate when individuals and groups have toy raisers and fund raisers. Check here for details on how to receive approval.

My business, office and/or family wants to collect toys or monetary donations. What is the process?

Whether your collection is a private event for coworkers or family and friends or a toy drop off location open to the public, we ask that you register for approval. Click here for all the details.

Someone called me soliciting donations for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. Are they authorized to act on your behalf?

No, if you have received a phone call from anyone claiming to be raising funds for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous (or if someone is going door to door), we do not solicit by phone or door to door. Try to get as much information from them as possible, such as who they are and what organization they represent and contact the police (780-423-4567) with the information.


How do I apply to be a volunteer?

Groups of 4 or more, youth under 16 years, and families with youth under 16 apply to volunteer by clicking here.

Individuals or groups of 2 and 3  can drop into Santas Depot on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Click here for details.

My children are under 16 years old and are very responsible. If I come with them can they volunteer?

Santas Depot is a working warehouse with a forklift, pallet jacks and 5 foot high boxes constantly moving around and everyone’s safety is a priority. Stepping into the Depot and seeing the amount of toys we have for 25,000 children is overwhelming for most adults; for youngsters it is often even more so. With such a short window of time to sort, wrap and prepare the gifts for delivery we require mature volunteers who are able to take in what they see and continue to be productive.

We do offer volunteer opportunities for those under 16 and families on delivery weekend. Click here for details.

Can I fulfill school or community hours at Santas?

As with adult volunteers, students who meet our volunteer requirements are welcome.

For mandated community hours please call us at 780-428-8697 or to discuss the volunteer roles that may suit your needs.

How do I get a form signed for my volunteer hours?

If you do not have a form, please ask for one at Santas office. Whether your form needs to be signed after each shift or after the completion of your hours, you can take it to the office at Santas Depot to be signed.

I have limited mobility, are there opportunities for me?

The Greeter or Battery Installer roles are a good match for those with limited mobility or those who are unable to stand for long periods. Most volunteer positions require good mobility as you will be walking on warehouse flooring, bending over to gather supplies, picking toys out from large bins or putting gifts into portable bins. Call us at 780-428-8697 or e-mail if you have any questions or click here to find out about the Greeter and Battery Installer roles.

I require some assistance (or an aide) to volunteer, are there opportunities for me?

At Santas Depot we welcome volunteers that will be bringing an aide. Due to space restrictions we ask that you contact us at 780-428-8697 before your planned visit to ensure we can accommodate your requirements. At this time we are not able to provide an aide to those requiring assistance and are unable to bring someone with them.

Delivery Weekend

Do I have to pre-register to deliver toys?

We do not pre-register any drivers for delivery weekend. Toy packages are dispatched to volunteer drivers on a first come basis.

How can I help if I do not drive / have a vehicle and would like to assist on delivery weekend?

There are many volunteer opportunities on this busy weekend. Click here to find out more.

Designated Parking Lot Entry Procedure

To ensure the best traffic flow please follow the direction given by the volunteers in the parking lot. There will be a designated entry and exit process for the parking lot located directly in front of Santas Depot.  The procedure will have the least disruption to community visitors and will give our young volunteer porters a specific area to stay within.

After I have parked what happens next?

This is a big answer and here goes…

  • Bring your helpers, valid driver’s licence and insurance with you into Santas Depot.
  • Volunteer Guides & Greeters are outside and will provide each driver a Dispatch Form. Drivers are to fill out their information including a phone number and driver’s license number.  Drivers also must agree to and sign our oath of confidentiality.
  • At this time you will decide if you want to use our Delivery Day App or the Dispatch Form to record delivery addresses.
  • If you select the app, you will need to download it before you get to the document table.
  • When you reach the document table, volunteers will verify that your driver’s license and insurance are valid.
  • Next is the dispatch table.  Here you will be asked about where in Edmonton you would prefer to deliver.  Should the toys for the area you requested have all been dispatched we will suggest other areas.
  • You will be assigned a volunteer dispatcher, and they will go over the delivery process and answer any question you may have.
    • If you selected to use the app, you will scan the code on each delivery package.  Once you confirm that all addresses are recorded in the app, the dispatcher will give you a copy of the form you signed earlier.
    • If you choose to continue using the Dispatch Form, then your dispatcher will record the address of each delivery package you are taking and give you a copy of the form.
  • If you require assistance taking the delivery packages  to your vehicle, volunteer porters are on hand to assist.
  • Once you have the delivery packages at your vehicle, you are ready to deliver.

How many packages can I take to deliver?

You may take between one and fifteen packages. Come back and get more packages to make a second or even third trip. As long as there are packages to deliver, you are welcome to return.

What are the delivery dates and hours?

In 2016 delivery weekend is December 17 & 18. Each day we start dispatching at 9:30 am and stop at 3:00 pm or when the last package leaves the depot, whichever occurs first.

How much time should I commit?

On average, it takes approximately 3 hours to deliver 10 packages. Once you are parked, you will be in and out of Santas Depot in approximately 20 minutes depending upon whether there is a line to get in. Those arriving when there is a line to get into the parking lot (especially on Saturday morning) have waited in their vehicles for up to 2 hours before parking.

What is the Santas Drivers App?

You can download the App now (although you may have to update it before delivery weekend), but it cannot be activated until delivery weekend. Click here for information on downloading the App.

What if I am not using the app and am delivering in an area that I am not familiar with?

We have paper maps of each area if you wish to take one.

What if I can’t find the address or gain entrance to the building?

You are welcome to phone the number on the delivery tag for instructions. After calling, if you are still unable to deliver the bag, return it to the Santas Depot by 6 pm indicating on the tag why it is being returned.

Can I leave the package with someone other than the adult listed on the delivery tag?

Yes, you can leave the  package with any adult at the home. If there is no adult and an older child (10+) is home and they appear responsible, you may leave the  package with the child. Use your own judgment. If you are not comfortable leaving the package with anyone in the home, return it to the depot by 6 pm indicating on the tag why it is being returned.

What if the package is refused?

On occasion a family’s situation changes and they may refuse the delivery of the package. If this is the case, please write REFUSED on the back of the tag and return the package to the depot by 6pm.

No one is home, can I try again later?

Sure, you can try again later on the same day if time permits. If the bag is still undeliverable, return the package to the depot by 6 pm indicating on the tag why it is being returned. 

  • On Saturday, packages must be returned to the depot by 6 pm indicating on the tag why it is being returned. We will arrange with the family for Sunday delivery. 
  • On Sunday, leave the bag or the tag. Leave the “Not Home Form” (tag) for the family, which provides them with instructions on how to receive their gifts. Bring the (bag) package back to the depot by 6 pm indicating on the tag why it is being returned.

Getting Assistance

How do I apply for toys for my child(ren)?

630 CHED Santas Anonymous, the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton and Adopt a Teen programs work alongside over 100 Edmonton agencies to ensure those in need receive assistance at Christmas. The Christmas Bureau processes all of the applications and provides recipients with either a food hamper or Sobeys gift card. The Adopt-A-Teen program provides Wal-Mart gift cards to 13 -17 year olds, while CHED Santas Anonymous provides toys for children up to 12 years old. For your convenience, there is a single application form to receive assistance from all three programs.

If you live in Edmonton, check with any social agency that you may have a relationship with as many agencies have the application forms. Click here for a list of agencies. If you have no affiliation with an agency, you may self refer by calling the Christmas Bureau intake phone lines at 780-414-7695.  The intake phone lines are open mid-November through mid-December.

How do I apply to be a recipient if I live outside Edmonton?

Each community has a similar program although the name may be different. Contact your local Food Bank or Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) office to find out who coordinates the toy program in your area.

I applied last year do I need to apply this year?

Yes. Each year we start with zero children on our delivery list. Our partner agencies the Christmas Bureau, Adopt-A-Teen and the Salvation army also start new lists each year.

Can I apply for a family I am familiar with?

An adult from the recipient home must apply. Personal information is required as well as approval. In addition, we must confirm who will be home to receive the toys. If there is a language barrier, an interpreter may assist when calling in or filling out the application.

What if I missed the application deadline?

If you have missed the application deadline, there is still an opportunity to receive assistance, however you will be required to pick up the toys and/or gift cards. Contact the Christmas Bureau intake phone line at 780-414-7695 for details. The intake phone lines are open mid-November through mid-December.

When will the toys be delivered?

In 2016 deliveries will be on December 17 & 18. Volunteer drivers are dispatched from Santas Depot beginning at 9:30 am each day. We ask the drivers to deliver the gifts by 6 pm. With over 11,000 homes to delivery to and 1,200 volunteers, we are unable to pin point a time period or date for your delivery. Please be patient, and plan to have an adult home.

What if I missed my delivery?

Should a gift not be delivered on Saturday, it will be sent out with another volunteer on Sunday. On Sunday if there is no one home, the driver will leave you a tag, providing that there is access to a mailbox. The tag will give you information as to when and where you can pick up the toys for your child(ren).