Christmas tree recycling gives the community a chance to give one, final, Christmas gift. (file photo)

Christmas tree recycling gives the community a chance to give one, final, Christmas gift. (file photo)

Sooke residents have a chance for a final gift

Recycling your Christmas tree helps the environment and the kids

With Christmas passed and a new year (almost) upon us, it’s time to retire the Christmas tree for another year.

For many, it’s a simple matter of stuffing the artificial tree back into its box and stowing it away for another 11 months while we soldier our way through another year.

But for the purists among us–those who continue to use a real tree to celebrate the season– the end of the Christmas season affords the chance to give one final gift.

The Easter Seals, together with the BC Lions Clubs are once again offering the community a chance to ‘Chip in for the Kids’ by participating in the organizations’ annual Christmas Tree Recycling event.

The program will take place on Jan. 5 and 6 on Vancouver Island.

For a donation to Easter Seals, volunteers from Lion and Lioness Clubs, Davey Tree Services, Western Island Tree Service and Competition Tree Service will dispose of your Christmas tree in an environmentally-friendly manner. There will be nine locations to choose from in Victoria, Sooke, Shawnigan Lake, Chemainus and Duncan.

In Sooke, trees can be dropped off at Sooke Home Hardware or, for a minimum donation of $20, an Easter Seals volunteer will pick up your tree in the Greater Victoria area. (Booking is only available until January 1st at www.eastersealsbcy.ca.)

Anyone interested in this option is advised to book early to confirm a spot for Jan. 5th.

The funds generated by the program will be used to help house families from Vancouver Island who travel to Vancouver for medical treatment for their child. Those families can stay at Easter Seals House while in Vancouver in an environment that provides a home-away-from-home setting during what are often stressful times.

Funds also help to send kids with diverse abilities from Vancouver Island to Easter Seals summer camps giving them a chance to build their self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of independence.

“Last year, Chip In For The Kids raised over $18,000 on Vancouver Island, which provided much-needed funding for Easter Seals House and summer camps for kids. In 2018, we had over 29,500 people stay at Easter Seals House when they travelled to Vancouver for medical treatment and care, and 240 children and youth attend summer camp,” explains Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO and President of Easter Seals BC & Yukon.

“This is the 29th year for the Chip In For The Kids event and we are so grateful for all the support the communities across Vancouver Island have for Easter Seals.”

Other ‘Chip in for the Kids’ locations include:

Shawnigan Lake – Mason’s Store

Duncan – BC Forest Discovery Centre

Chemainus – Old Chemainus Foods (Jan 5th only)

And, in Victoria:

· Broadmead Village Shopping Centre

· Save-On-Foods at Fort & Foul Bay

· Tillicum Shopping Centre

· University Heights Shopping Centre

· Westshore Town Centre

For more information or to register for pickup service, visit eastersealsbcy.ca.