Annual Sooke Christmas Bureau kicks off

The annual Sooke Christmas Bureau and Fill the Firetruck campaign kicked off Friday outside Village Foods, and families in need are encouraged to apply for a Christmas food hamper.

Sooke Fire Rescue will be set up outside grocery stores this weekend, before the annual food run on Dec. 9. Donations of non-perishables can be dropped off at the Sooke Community Hall as well.

There will be cash boxes in all of the local grocery stores and banks, as well as at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The Sooke Harbour Lions are also looking for children’s toys and gifts for teens such as pyjamas, clothes, books, gift cards, for this year’s toy drive.

Last year there were 397 applications – from East Sooke to Port Renfrew –for hampers, which supported 660 adults and 152 children.

Santa’s Anonymous also provided 127 Christmas presents in Sooke.

“Sooke is so giving, which is amazing because there are so many people in need and the numbers keep growing,” said Deb Schenk, a Harbourside Lion and volunteer for the Christmas Bureau. “We couldn’t do this without the support of the community.”

The deadline to apply for a hamper is Friday (Dec. 1), and those who are also looking for some help with Christmas presents and toys can apply through Santas Anonymous.

Families can pick up their hampers and toys on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall.

“We just want to make sure to get people fed and warm and so Christmas is magical for everyone,” said Schenk. “So that everyone feels loved and know that they haven’t been forgotten.”

If you would like to volunteer for the Christmas Bureau, please call and leave Cathy Rogers message at 250-642-1534.

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