Nanoose elves Sylvia Kudrick and Karen Gillan get into the Christmas spirit this holiday season as they volunteer for the annual Nanoose Elf Program

Helping the nedy in Nanoose Bay

Program was started by Virginia Brucker, a Grade 1 teacher at the time

  • Dec. 16, 2014 8:00 a.m.

With nine days to go until Christmas, the Nanoose Bay Elf Program is in full swing.

Organizer Maureen Moore said she and her dozens of volunteers have been promptly putting together the annual festive charity since mid-October — wrapping presents, curling ribbon and spreading Christmas cheer to those in-need.

The Elf Program was started 25 years ago by Virginia Brucker, who was teaching Grade 1 at the time in Nanoose Bay.

“It started because of one girl in my class,” Brucker told The NEWS from Nanoose Place.

“This girl, she had nothing — and I mean nothing — and she said to me one day ‘I don’t think Santa is coming to my house,'” explained Brucker. “And I knew I had to do something.”

The Elf Program works like this: families or individuals in-need register for the program, then you can adopt a family or individual and you will be given a list of Christmas requests or information about the family (size, gender ect.) withholding their identity. You then wrap the gifts and return them to the Nanoose elves, who deliver the gifts or have the recipients pick them up before Christmas.

Alternatively, the elves have set up Christmas trees in Nanoose Place, Nanoose Elementary School, Fairwinds Centre, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Jim’s Gym, Hot and Cool Yoga (Parksville location), Aspengrove School (north Nanaimo) and the post office in the Red Gap Centre.

The Christmas trees are decorated with ornamental tags which have gift requests on the back. You can take a tag and purchase the gift requested on it, then return the unwrapped present to any of the tree locations. The Nanoose elves will then wrap the gifts and deliver them to the appropriate locations.

The entire charity stays within Nanoose Bay and is completely anonymous. The first year of the program six families received gifts. Last year, around 280 gifts went out.

“It’s a lot of hard work but it’s very rewarding,” said Moore, whose been leading the charity for four years since Brucker stepped down. “I don’t know who gets more pleasure out of it — the givers or the receivers.”

Moore said that the Nanoose elves try to make Christmas a joyful time for everybody — even those who don’t register for the program often will receive something special on Christmas.

“There are people we know, just by word of mouth and from living in a small community, who would appreciate gifts so we try and reach all those people,” said Moore.

If you would like to sponsor a family or individual, or for more information contact Maureen Moore at 250-586-9788. Cash donations are also welcome.

­— NEWS Staff

Just Posted

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park neighbourhood

Resident shared photo to alert others to big cat’s presence

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

Nanaimo RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read