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‘Early Christmas miracle’ needed by Surrey charity desperate for Toy Depot space

‘The kind of space we need is becoming quite scare with the rate of development in Surrey,’ executive director says
Lisa Werring, executive director of Surrey Christmas Bureau, at the organization’s Toy Depot a couple of years ago. (File photo)

Surrey Christmas Bureau is feeling the commercial space crunch in the city.

The charitable organization is searching for a place to house its yearly Toy Depot this fall, without luck so far.

Last year’s depot site, the former Safeway store in Whalley, isn’t available to the Christmas Bureau this year.

“We were there for one year, and it was probably the best place we’ve ever had,” said Lisa Werring, executive director. “They even left all their shelving for us to use, but they (building owners) managed to find a tenant for the next few years. I’m not sure who.”

Now the Christmas Bureau is looking for a donation of open-plan warehouse space of 10,000 square feet for a two- to three-month period this fall, preferably with ample parking and a loading bay, and near transit. The appeal goes to any landlord, property manager or building owner who may be able to help.

“We need an early Christmas miracle,” Werring said.

“The kind of space we need is becoming quite scare with the rate of development in Surrey,” she added. “It’s tough to find but it’s what we need to operate. We would consider Newton and Guildford as well, but we would really prefer the Downtown Surrey area.”

The Christmas Bureau’s mission is to provide toys and holiday meals to Surrey families that otherwise couldn’t afford Christmas gifts for their children.

Last year, the organization issued nearly $190,000 in grocery vouchers, which translates to 21,102 holiday meals, and provided new toys to 4,520 children.

“With inflation, this year is going to be very difficult for families, we’re sure of that,” Werring said.

Online registration will being in mid-October, but a space must be found first. Call 604-581-9623 if you can help, email or visit

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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