There are elves in Nanoose Bay. Hundreds of them.
Each year, they pick names off of Christmas trees in the community, and buy gifts for the children and families in need over the holiday season.
Co-ordinating all of these Santa’s helpers is the Nanoose Community Services Association and their Elf Tree event.
Volunteer Maureen Moore said the campaign reaches families in need in the Nanoose Bay area only.
There are a variety of people in the area, she said, coming from all walks of life — and there are plenty of folks in need all year long.
The Elf Tree program, she continued, asks those people who register with NCSA what they would like for Christmas, and those specific items are hung on trees at various locations in the community and into Parksville.
“People love receiving a specific gift,” she said, “and we want everyone, no matter how much money they have to spend, to be able to participate as an elf.”
The Santa hats on the trees number more than 300 this year — well over the 180-plus in 2010.
“There’s a big demand,” Moore said. “With the cost of everything these days, people do need help this time of year.”
The deadline to participate in the Elf Tree program is Dec. 10, and the trees can be found at Nanoose Place, the Fairwinds Community Centre, St. Mary’s Church, Fairwinds Golf Course, Nanoose Elementary, Nanoose Bay post office, Coastal Community Credit Union at the Red Gap centre, Dr. Abdurahman’s dental office, Jim’s Gym, Serious Coffee and Hot N Cool Yoga.
for details, call NCSA at 250-468-9888.