Community raises close to $25,000 for hampers

Recap of the success of the Christmas Bureau's fundraising efforts

The Christmas Bureau gets underway early in the fall of each year with some initial planning, and preparing for the ordering of both non-perishable and perishable foodstuffs, and by late November swings into full action, to provide food hampers for needy clients of our region over the holiday period.

The 2012 Campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31, saw requests for about 465 hampers processed.

“The community of Sooke responded to the call for volunteers and support in so many varied ways over the critical weeks of the initiative,” stated spokesperson David Bennett.

Cash donations raised totalled just shy of $24,500 and the degree of both non-perishable food items donated and the number of volunteers of a wide range of ages, were both a most gratifying aspect.

“It just can not be underestimated how significant the contribution to the success of this annual campaign by the members of the Sooke Fire Rescue Service and their families has become.” Their ‘Help Fill A Truck’ storefront campaign in front of Village Food Market, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Western Foods for most of the weekends in December (resulting in well over $11,000 in cash donations), and their Santa Run through our community on a Saturday night (resulting in a collection of non-perishable food items valued at upwards of $25,000) are essential, stated Bennett, and even the Firehall Drive-Through donations service on their final weekend.

He went on to say that the increase in community volunteers in particular and District of Sooke staff members, to assist the firefighters in front of the stores, and the number of families already planning for house parties on the night of the SFRS Santa Run this coming December, is encouraging and exciting.

The Otter Point and East Sooke Fire Rescue Services also contributed to possibly the largest collection ever of non-perishable foodstuffs from the Santa Run initiative.

Thank you, our community of Sooke, for the stronger-than-ever interest and committed involvement which went toward creating much-needed core staples for individuals and families at this festive time of year.