The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program provides gifts for local children and youth in low-income families, so they may find something special under the tree on Christmas morning. (Submitted photo)

The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program provides gifts for local children and youth in low-income families, so they may find something special under the tree on Christmas morning. (Submitted photo)

SOS filling hearts and bellies at Christmas in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Charity group aims to raise $200,000

By Lissa Alexander

Often, it’s the little things that make Christmas special.

That’s the case for Trudy, a low-income resident who is accessing the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program.

“It makes my Christmas extra special as the grocery food card allows me to make nuts and bolts and cookies for my neighbours, and also buys me a Christmas ham to share with my neighbours at the RV park.”

Sharing with others helps create the magic of Christmas for Trudy (her name has been changed to protect her identity) and enables her to spread kindness to others around her.

The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program provides residents with local grocery store gift cards so they can choose food that is important to them over the holidays. The program also provides gifts for local children and youth in low-income families, so they may find something special under the tree on Christmas morning.

Dave (his name has been changed to protect his identity) and his wife appreciate the support they receive from SOS at Christmas. He said it takes away the stress and lets them enjoy time with their family.

“My boys are eight and 10 and this program helps us so much during this expensive holiday so that my boys have presents to open on Christmas Day and food in their bellies.”

Leslie (her name has been changed to protect her identity) said that without the support of the SOS Christmas program this year, she wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas dinner or gifts for her child.

“As a disabled, single mom, it makes my Christmas extra special,” she said. “It means getting to relax with my child and give her beautiful memories.”

READ MORE: Grinch alert: SOS Thrift Shop truck reported stolen in Parksville

SOS is endeavouring to raise $200,000 to ensure the needs of everyone who registers for the program are met. So far, the charity has raised $132,913.

SOS will continue to help residents right up until Dec. 23. If you need support, call SOS at 250-248-2093 ext. 229 to register.

To make a financial donation to the program, visit www.sosd69.com, call 250-248-2093 or drop by the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville during office hours.

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Charity and DonationsChristmasParksvillequalicum beach