Members of the Christmas Bureau met with reps from Western Foods and Sooke Fire and Rescue firefighters for the bureau’s kickoff on Friday afternoon.

Christmas Bureau brings cheer to less fortunate in Sooke

The Sooke Christmas Bureau began gearing up for another busy holiday season last week

The Sooke Christmas Bureau began gearing up for another busy holiday season last week with the hope of filling bellies up and turning frowns upside down.

It’s doing it a little differently this year too, mixing up hampers with both turkey and ham, along with some goodies like pancakes and syrup for some Christmastime munching.

The volunteer-run service calls upon the community every year to help provide a traditional dinner with all the trimmings for Sooke’s less fortunate.

By adding half the portion of a turkey, the bureau also helps spread out the food supply to larger families as well, said Deb Schenk, Sooke Christmas Bureau chair. As for the produce, the organizers try to buy most it last minute so things are fresh.

The rest, such as canned goods and non-tangible items, are donated through the 10,000 Tonight event at Edward Milne Community School and through the Fill-a-Firetruck Run. EMCS’s event will run the night of Dec. 1, while the firetruck run is on Dec. 10, respectively.

Their efforts will also be helped by a $7,000 donation from the District of Sooke.

Last year, the Sooke Christmas Bureau and Sooke Fire Rescue raised $32,000 worth of food and donations, giving out 357 hampers and another 175 through Santas Anonymous for a total of 532 hampers.

So far, Schenk is confident the Sooke community will pitch in.

“Every year, Sooke shows us exactly what a great community we have by always pulling together,” she said.

Sooke residents can donate at any of the boxes around Sooke or can mail a cheque to P.O. Box 983, Sooke, B.C., V9Z 1H9.

The Christmas Bureau folk are also in need of volunteers between Dec. 16 and 18, so if you’d like to lend a hand, give a ring to 250-642-1534.