GUILDFORD â€” The Surrey Christmas Bureau has found a home for the holidays, and this year, itâ€™s in Guildford.
The organization is setting up shop in the former Liquidation World at 14885 108th Ave.
â€œWe really appreciate the generosity of GWL Realty Advisors in allowing us to use this very large and welcoming place as our toy depot,â€ said bureau co-ordinator K.C. Gilroy. â€œIt will work well for registrants and donors alike.â€
Finding a space large enough for its operations is something the bureau struggles with every year.
As Gilroy always says, the group finds itself â€œone step ahead of the bulldozer,â€ often operating out of empty grocery stores, warehouses or open plan offices. Usually, the group hunts for a space between 6,000 and 8,000 square feet.
But this yearâ€™s location is a whopping 38,000 square feet – the organization’s biggest space ever.
The old Liquidation World is currently being repurposed into a hub of festive activity as dozens of volunteers deck the halls and gear up for registration, set to kick off Nov. 18.
Last year close to 1,700 families were sponsored through the Adopt A Family program, or received toys and grocery certificates directly from the bureau.
With Surrey growing at such a rapid rate, each year there are more families that fall well under the poverty line and, therefore, become eligible for Christmas bureau support.
Eligible families with children 16 and under can apply by bringing photo ID, all income info and proof of residence in Surrey. The bureau will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Nov. 18. For more information, or to donate, call 604-581-9623 or visit Christmasbureau.com.
The bureau is always in need of age-appropriate toys for babies (as well as diapers, blankets and baby wipes), toddlers (stocking stuffers, and toys such as building sets, books and other educational items) and teens aged 12 to 16 (including gift certificates for malls/theatres, makeup kits, blankets, sports balls, hockey sticks, DVDs, solid colour hoodies, hats, mitts, scarves and socks).
Meanwhile, registration for Deltassist’s christmas programs are also underway.
Low-income families, seniors and individuals can register for a hamper and attendance at the annual toy depot to choose presents for children up to the age of 16.
Those who register before Nov. 21 can enter a draw to receive a free family portrait, provided by the Surrey Photography Club.
Register in person in North Delta (9097 120th St., Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) or in Ladner (4891 Delta St., Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to noon, and from 1 to 3:30 p.m.).
For more information call co-ordinator Christiann Munro at 604-594-3455.