Troy Hannafin describes his group’s first collection of 16 Christmas gift baskets as a real Norman Rockwell moment.
They were each wrapped up nice and fancy, baskets overflowing with food and toys for pets, all donated to the Deltassist Family and Community Services’ Toy Depot and Christmas Hamper program.
That was five years ago, after he and a small group of friends formed Feed the Animals Delta to help take some of the burden off low-income families with pets during the holidays.
In the first year, they pitched in their own money and asked their families and friends for cash or donated items.
The good news was that Deltassist appreciated the donations, which were handed out to needy families. But all 16 baskets were quickly snapped up.
Feed the Animals Delta learned the demand by animal lovers was much greater than they thought.
Over the next few years, several pet stores got on board, acting as both purchase and drop-off points for donations.
The demand continued to increase.
“Every year our basket totals went up, and every year there were more families that never got a basket,” says Hannafin. “The baskets became less and less ornate and more practical as time passed.”
Left: Troy Hannafin
This year, with a goal of 150 baskets, Deltassist offices in Ladner and North Delta have been added as drop-off points for donations (donors are asked to bring proofs of purchase to receive tax receipts).
And Deltassist is getting more involved this year by collecting specific information about the types of pets out there, and the pet stores are being told what to advise potential buyer-donors.
“It doesn’t guarantee that we will collect enough donations to fulfill the requirement, but it will help us in the future to grow our group to hopefully one day meet that demand,” Hannafin says.
So far this year, Deltassist has tallied 46 dogs, 90 cats, 16 fish, 14 birds, three hamsters, two rabbits, two rats, two mice, one chinchilla and one lizard.
Donations from pet stores and Deltassist locations will be picked up by Feed the Animals Delta on Dec. 10. The baskets will be delivered for Deltassist’s Toy Depot and Christmas Hampers program on Dec. 12. Registered families will pick up hampers from Dec. 13-15.
For more information about donating to Feed the Animals Delta, call Troy Hannafin at 604-657-5688 or email email@example.com
For more information about the Deltassist Toy Depot and Christmas Hamper program, visit deltassist.com or call Carly at 604-594-3455, ext. 107.
Donation collection points
• Bosley’s Pet Foods, Tsawwassen: 1512 56 St.
• Bosley’s Pet Foods, Ladner: #124, 4857 Elliott St.
• Pet Solutions, North Delta: 6447 120 St.
• Pets-N-Us, Ladner: 5076 48 Ave.
• Pets-N-Us, Tsawwassen: 1302A 56 St.
• Deltassist Family and Community Services, North Delta: 9097 120 St.
• Deltassist, Ladner: 5076 48 Ave.