Special to The NEWS
The SOS provided a record amount of Christmas gifts for local children in 2015.
The Society of Organized Services’ Caring for Kids at Christmas program has been running for 47 years in this community, and in 2015 a total of 1,151 children in District 69 received a special gift at Christmas, up from 999 children the previous year.
The SOS Caring for Kids at Christmas program is for low income families and individuals in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. The program provides new gifts for children and local grocery store gift cards for adults, so everyone can experience some joy at Christmas.
The number of households the SOS Christmas program assisted in 2015 was 874, down slightly from 900 in 2014. Adults who received grocery store gift cards through the program in 2015 numbered 1,184, similar to 2014, when 1,189 local adults received support from the program.
SOS had a fundraising goal of $110,000 and Christmas program donations totalled $104,577 in 2015 thanks to the generous support of community members.
Gift donations to the SOS Christmas program were outstanding in 2015. Over 1,500 gifts were collected from the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive, dozens of local businesses hosted Angel Trees and brought in over 1,000 gifts for the program, a record high.
Hundreds more were brought in from the Silver Spur Toy Ride, and residents, groups and service clubs consistently brought in gifts for children and youth throughout the holiday season.
SOS extends a heartfelt thank you to all its supporters in 2015. Together they created magic for local residents in need at Christmas, and provided positive support through programming and outreach throughout the year.
They look forward to working with the community members to further the SOS vision of a healthy and vibrant community.
— Lissa Alexander is the marketing coordinator at the Society of Organized Services