On Christmas Day in 2015, Erica Jane Beckstead (right) and other Whalley Santa Cause volunteers sort through hampers before delivering them to those living on local streets. (File photo)

On Christmas Day in 2015, Erica Jane Beckstead (right) and other Whalley Santa Cause volunteers sort through hampers before delivering them to those living on local streets. (File photo)

CHARITY

‘Whalley Santa Cause’ donations needed for Christmas Day delivery to people living on Surrey streets

At 1 p.m. on Dec. 25, volunteers meet at Gateway SkyTrain station to start delivering hampers

After a one-year break, volunteers with Whalley Santa Cause will be back delivering hampers to those in need on Christmas Day.

Since 2011, Erica Jane Beckstead has led a co-ordinated effort to give donated winter clothing, toiletries and other gifts to those living on the streets of Whalley.

At 1 p.m. on Dec. 25, volunteers meet at Gateway SkyTrain station (by the taxis) to begin delivering hampers to people in the area.

“We march the streets handing out Christmas hampers to over 500 people every year,” Beckstead says. “We need donations to help buy toiletries to help over 500 people on Christmas Day this year!”

The campaign is chronicled on facebook.com/WhalleySantaCause, where donations and funds are collected. People can also call 778-233-4344 to donate and get involved as a volunteer for deliveries on Christmas Day.

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A makeup artist in the film industry, Beckstead once roamed the streets of Whalley looking for her next hit of drugs. Clean for 12 years, she’s helping those in the community now.

Last year’s Whalley Santa Cause was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it’s back on this year.

“When we pay it forward or give ourselves to others that need it, we just become better,” Beckstead explains. “Please donate by buying the items we need, such as trial-sized body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We are also collecting winter clothing that is slightly used. Sweaters and jackets are a priority.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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