Surrey Christmas Bureau donations down as need increases

About 1,800 families have registered for the bureau’s toy and food hamper program. That’s about 150 more than last year.

KC Gilroy is co-ordinator of Surrey Christmas Bureau.

WHALLEY — Surrey Christmas Bureau organizers hopes some elves will help fill their shelves back up this week, as the charity has seen a drop in donations amidst an increase in need.

About 1,800 families have registered for the bureau’s toy and food hamper program. That’s about 150 more than last year.

At least 130 of the new families are Syrian refugees, bureau boss KC Gilroy told the Now.

Shelves are getting empty, and fast, as families come to pick up their presents.

“People remember the kids in the four to nine range,” said Gilroy. There are far less donations for infants and older kids.

Things like mall gift cards are great for older children, she noted, as well as things like skateboards, hoodies, toiletries and even arts supplies.

“Sometimes creative kids get kind of forgotten,” Gilroy added.

The deadline for donations is end of day Thursday (Dec. 22).

“It’s pretty busy today for sure,” Gilroy said Monday. “We’re not sure how tomorrow is going to go, the weather definitely slowed things down.”

But volunteer elves were still busy at work.

“I’m looking at about 75 people right now, going from shelf to shelf.”

All told, the bureau has about 125 volunteers, said Gilroy, plus many businesses send teams to help out on certain days.

Donations can be dropped off at 13583 104th Ave.

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

-With a file from Vancouver Sun

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