It’s an early Christmas miracle!
Surrey Christmas Bureau has found a warehouse for their seasonal toy depot. They will share warehouse space with Fraser Health in the former Whalley Safeway store, 10355 King George Blvd., where they set up last year.
Lisa Werring, executive director of Surrey Christmas Bureau, said Surrey’s mayor Brenda Locke and Fraser Health stepped in to help when they heard about the Bureau’s need for a space.
Werring said in a statement, “We are absolutely thrilled and so grateful to Mayor Locke and Fraser Health for their generosity in donating this space as our 2022 Toy Depot.”
Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO of Fraser Health, said they are happy to share with The Christmas Bureau, which will use the space for a variety of purposes. One is to store all of the brand-new toy donations they get through community toy drives, individuals, and families.
They also use this space “to set up a toy store where everything is free for the families that have applied and qualified with us,” said Werring. “So that parents can go in there and shop just like every other parent and pick out that perfect toy for their child.”
Surrey’s mayor Brenda Locke said in a statement, “The joy that the Surrey Christmas Bureau brings to thousands of children every year is immeasurable and I’m delighted to see this invaluable service make the holidays brighter for a number of families across the city.”
The Surrey Christmas Bureau is the largest Christmas charity in B.C. They serve low-income families at Christmas by giving them new toys for Christmas presents and grocery vouchers. They serve about 2000 Surrey families every year. Last year that included 4,520 kids. They gave out almost $190,000 in grocery vouchers last season, which works out to over 21,000 meals for Christmas.
The bureau started receiving calls from families in early August asking when they could register. Werring said this is likely due to the rising cost of food and inflation. Families were already thinking ahead to Christmas day and worried that they would not be able to give their kids anything.
Online registration is found on the Christmas Bureau’s website here.
The bureau starts receiving donations on Nov. 17 at the warehouse (10355 King George Blvd). Toy donations can also be dropped off at any Surrey fire hall from Nov. 15 to Dec. 20. For more information, visit their website christmasbureau.com.
-With files from Tom Zillich