The Society of Organized Services has exceeded its goal of raising $120,000 in 2019 to help families in need around Christmas time.
In total, SOS raised $122,484, and helped 981 households in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area.
The donations continued to roll in right up to Christmas, with the organization reaching and then surpassing their $120,000 target on Christmas Eve.
“Leading up to Christmas we were very excited to be so close to our goal, and then on Christmas Eve we had a flurry of donations and we made it,” said SOS executive director Susanna Newton.
Monetary donations went towards buying grocery store gift cards for families, individuals and seniors. A total of 1,342 adults received grocery store gift cards.
The SOS also operates a toy shop, where low income parents, grandparents and caregivers can come in and shop for free. In total, 1,404 children received gifts this year.
“What an amazing gift from our community. It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing local residents support this campaign, and that they trust SOS to ensure our neighbours are taken care of at Christmas,” said Newton.
2019 marks 51 years of SOS Christmas campaigns. The funds raised by the campaign have grown steadily over the years – this year surpassed the 2018 total of $116,077 and 1,257 gifts. 2017 saw $108,962 raised and 1,248 gifts given out, and 2016 brought in $105,465 and distributed 1,217 gifts.