Leslie Blair-Introduction

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    Leslie Blair

    My name is Leslie Blair, I live and work in Ottawa. I am a Warrant Officer in the RCAF with fifteen years of service, and I run a Non-Profit called Santa for Veterans. Santa for Veterans was a grassroots initiative that I started in 2016, with the aim to send Christmas gifts to veterans who are in need or alone over the holiday season. We cut out the middle person, by pairing kind Canadians who want to send gifts with veterans; leaving two spirits feeling brighter. It’s good for the soul, knowing you made a veteran feel a little less alone, and who doesn’t like getting a Christmas gift? 🙂 A few years ago, I registered S4V as a Non-Profit, and then I didn’t know what to do from there… I really don’t know how to scale the project, all I know is that it is necessary and I have to fight to take it to the next level. I can’t do that alone, I need help.

    Two burning questions you have for this course:
    1) How do I scale this project and have a small staff that can help me run this right?
    2) How can I make this project generate a little cash to pay for the additional expenses that will come with my vision moving forward?

    Interesting fact about me: I am currently living at a campground while my condo is being built in Ottawa, and it’s getting cold! haha!

    Lewis Jenkins

    Nice to meet you too

    Mark Nasmith

    I think it is terrific to pair Canadians with our vets. There’s no better way for them to understand us.

    Judy Evans


    When is your condo scheduled to be completed? Soon I hope, very soon.

    I participate in the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas shoe boxes program and they ask for a donation of $10 per box to cover costs. Do you ask for funds to accompany the Santa gifts? If so, how much and does it cover the costs?


    Lonnie Croal

    Hi Leslie, great to meet you. Your passion sounds very intriguing. Thank you so much for your service.


    Leslie Blair

    We do not ask for donations. Up until now, we have paired veterans with a person who wants to send a gift and that person sends the gift (not through us). We just facilitate it. To be honest, that is the most beautiful thing about the project IMO. I find the average person has compassion fatigue, everyone is always looking for donations… I will obviously take the expert’s recommendations on this, but in a perfect world, I would love to have two offerings: (1) the normal social media drive that pairs Kind Canadians (KC) with the veterans; and (2) through the website, a selection of care packages that they can choose to be sent to a veteran on their behalf.

    I don’t want to take away from that KC that sends a gift to a veteran very year, and takes their child out shopping/includes their family in the process.

    I move into my condo in March. I am renting a house from a Snowbird this winter.

    Hope all is well,

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