The countdown is on until Christmas Day, which is a month away, and the Sooke Christmas Bureau is gearing up for another busy campaign.
Those needing help to get through the holiday season have until Dec. 3 to sign up for assistance.
“We want to make sure no one in Sooke goes without Christmas. That’s always the goal,” said Ben Molesky, who co-chairs the Sooke Christmas Bureau with Mike Thomas.
This year’s campaign will mirror 2020 and provide a food hamper and toys for children. Demand is up substantially this year, as many found themselves with reduced working hours or out of work entirely due to the global pandemic.
The Christmas Bureau expects to help more than 350 families this year, up from 320 in 2020.
“Anyone who needs help can apply,” Molesky said. “We don’t discriminate.”
The Christmas Bureau has a long reach, helping families from Sooke to Port Renfrew.
This year the bureau has a fundraising goal of $30,000 and will receive support from local fire departments, Sooke Lioness Club, District of Sooke, 17 Mile Liquor Shoppe and Sooke Food Bank. It also belongs to the Victoria Giving Network – a broad-based group of charities, including CFAX’s Santa Anonymous.
Several local fire departments have activities planned to help out the Christmas Bureau.
Starting this weekend, Sooke Fire Rescue begins its annual Kettle Run, where it seeks cash donations. Fire crews will be in stationed in front of Sooke businesses.
In December, fire departments will also travel throughout their communities seeking donations in the Santa Run.
The Sooke Christmas Bureau begins distributing their yuletide goodies to families on Dec. 19. Applications for a hamper are available at the Sooke Food Bank or the Sooke Family Resource Centre.