Front to back, SOS Christmas program co-ordinator Elizabeth Nicol with volunteers Elaine Eddy, Suzanne Chaddock, Janet Smukowich, Judy Colhoun and Louise Patrick in the SOS Toy Shop. - Lissa Alexander photo

SOS: Coming together to make Christmas brighter

Group hopes to reach monetary goal of $110,000

It takes a community effort to make sure our vulnerable residents are taken care of at Christmas time.

This year, 140 volunteers have come together to help deliver the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program.

The volunteers work in 12 different areas, from registering clients for the program, picking up toys from local businesses, to walking parents through the Toy Shop to help them select that special gift their child has been asking for.

“Our volunteers are amazing,” said SOS Christmas program co-ordinator, Elizabeth Nicol. “They come to us full of enthusiasm and kindness, and set to work making Christmas brighter for others.”

The need in Parksville Qualicum Beach has continued to grow in the last decade, and every year SOS has seen more families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. This year the numbers for the Christmas program look similar to last year, Nicol explained, which saw 1,248 children receive gifts, and 1,146 adults receive local grocery store gift cards, so they could choose food that was important to them over the holidays.

SOS began offering registrations from its Qualicum Beach location a few years ago, and Nicol said the number of people accessing registration from that location continues to grow.

Parents, caregivers and grandparents started going through the SOS Toy Shop to select gifts on Dec. 13 this year, and they will continue to visit the Toy Shop until SOS closes on Dec. 21.

Nicol said the amount of toys that have come in this year has been incredible.

“We’re so thankful to the groups who held events to help fill our Toy Shop, and everyone who supported those events. Our amazing Angel Tree businesses and their supporters really came through again this year, and it was so nice to see so many individuals come into the SOS Community Services Centre with gifts.”

Nicol is hopeful SOS will reach its monetary goal of $110,000 this year, which covers the cost of the grocery store gift cards for everyone who registers for the program. So far the total raised is $96,390.

To support the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program, donate online at www.sosd69.com, call 250-248-2093 or drop into the SOS Community Services Centre during business hours.

— Submitted by Lissa Alexander

Just Posted

A very cheesy Christmas at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

Annual family Christmas event, this year with raclette hot off the melting wheel

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer cash, root beer and hand sanitizer

Oceanside RCMP receive 249 complaints in one-week period

Solutions in sight for Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor shortage

With feasibility study funded, group shares vision of ‘campus of healthcare’

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

Most Read