Sooke Christmas Bureau members at the 2011 Santa Parade.

Kick off for Christmas Bureau

Local volunteers get prepared for fundraising for holiday hampers

The Official Kick Off for the upcoming Christmas Bureau is Friday, Nov. 23!

Since the late 1970’s, the Sooke Christmas Bureau has raised funds and solicited non-perishable food donations to help needy families at Christmas.

As most people in Sooke are aware, the Sooke Christmas Bureau is a committee that comes together each year prior to Christmas to help those within our communities who are less fortunate. In addition to non-perishable food drives by various community groups, the volunteers will be required to raise sufficient funds in order to support the purchase of perishable food to meet requirements for Christmas Hampers. These hampers will be distributed just prior to Christmas, and will help to brighten the festive season for needy families within the District of Sooke and area.

Every December the Christmas Bureau swings into full action, to provide food hampers for needy clients of our region. The 2011 Campaign, which concluded last Dec. 31, saw a sizable number of applications submitted (500+) from the Sooke area. This was due, in part, as a reflection of the challenging times faced by many of our neighbours. The community of Sooke responded to the call once again, to the tune of just over $24,000 in funds raised, and unprecedented donations of non-perishable food items, all of which went towards creating much-needed core food staples for individuals and families!

The bureau relies on the generosity of the many community service groups, volunteer non-profit organizations, schools, businesses and the people of Sooke to come together at this time of year to provide food and additional funding to the Sooke Christmas Bureau, especially in these more challenging times than ever. The community of Sooke has been extremely generous in the past, and it is hoped that the 2012 Bureau will be able to reach its goal of $25,000.

The Sooke Christmas Bureau extends thanks to Tony of Sooke Signs for contributing new signage for the collections thermometers that are located in front of our two major grocery stores.  Also, thanks are extended to the Sparks, Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders of our area, under the leadership of Gillian Hurwood, local District Commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada. They have been busy over the past few weeks ‘decorating’ the hamper carry bags!

This year the Christmas Bureau is looking for volunteers to pack hampers and give them out, in the Dec. 20 to 22 period. Anyone interested in volunteering to help “Share the Christmas Spirit” can call 250-642-1534, and leave your name and telephone number(s).

Look for Sooke Christmas Bureau Donation Boxes in a number of local area businesses for the month of December.  Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 983, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1H9, and receipts for income tax purposes will be issued.

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