SOS Volunteers have been busy stocking the Toy Shop shelves for local families in need and say they hope to see some more gifts for teenagers and infants within the next couple of weeks. From left, SOS volunteers Sandy Darling, Karen VanDenberg, Eleane Eddy and Trish Marrion with SOS Christmas program co-ordinator, April Deleau. (Lissa Alexander photo)

Christmas program creating tradition for PQB single mother and daughter

‘It just makes all the difference for your child to smile and laugh on Christmas morning’

By Lissa Alexander

December is the one month of the year when Wendy does not feel worried about providing for her daughter, and that’s because of the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program.

“It’s nice to be able to go in to the grocery store thinking, I can afford to buy that apple pie and that $20 turkey, and it’s OK, she said. “Spending that chunk on the gift card we get, I never feel bad.”

Wendy (her name has been changed to protect her identity) is a single mother and said that throughout the year, she has to forego certain foods for her and her daughter, as they are too expensive. But at Christmas, thanks to the support from the community, the SOS Christmas program provides gifts for her daughter, as well as a grocery store gift card.

“When Christmas day comes, and its just me and my daughter—we don’t have family around here, she and I get up in the morning and we put the turkey in after we’ve opened the presents, and it’s something to look forward to in the evening alone, a nice turkey and that pie.”

The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program relies on community donations to fill the SOS Toy Shop where low-income parents and grandparents shop for free. Monetary donations enable SOS to provide local grocery store gift cards so families and individuals can choose food that is important to them over the holidays. SOS hopes to raise $120,000 to meet the needs of residents who register for the program this year.

Wendy says she is so grateful for the gifts she has been able to get for her daughter in the SOS Toy Shop.

“SOS allows you to choose a teddy bear, a book, a board game and stocking stuffers, and it just makes all the difference for your child to smile and laugh on Christmas morning. It’s nice that a kid can feel that Santa really cares and knows you’re a good girl or boy, and see a few gifts scattered under [the tree].”

READ MORE: Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses step up as Christmas Angels

SOS Volunteers have been busy stocking the Toy Shop shelves with donations so parents, caregivers and grandparents can select those special items their children have been asking for.

April Deleau, SOS Christmas program co-ordinator, said the community has been very generous and the Toy Shop is looking amazing, but there are a couple of areas that are low on gifts.

“The shelves that we designate for teenagers and pre-teens are looking a little bare,” said Deleau. “We would love to see some donations like trendy room décor items: blankets and funky lights, as well as jewelry, make up, nail kits, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, watches, wallets and hygiene kits.”

For infants, the Toy Shop could use sensory and teething toys, plush toy pacifiers, clothing, bibs, booties and books, Deleau said.

To donate to the program, visit the SOS website, call 250-248-2093 or drop off new, unwrapped gifts to the SOS Community Services Centres in Parksville or Qualicum Beach.

For more information on the SOS Christmas program visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville Royals second at Victoria baseball tournament

Seniors player showcase talents in front of scouts

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

Dougal the blind raven enjoys role as ambassador at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Bird helps animal care technicians teach visitors about his species

UPDATE: Qualicum Beach man, 51, dies in kayaking incident

No foul play suspected; body was found floating near Lasqueti Island

Heavy rain and strong winds forecast for Parksville Qualicum Beach region

Environment Canada issues wind warning as ‘vigorous’ frontal system approaches

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read