Goldstream Food Bank on the search to fill Christmas Hampers with toys

Volunteers are looking for new toys for infants to 11-year-olds

Get in the holiday spirit because Christmas is coming to town early, at least it is for the Goldstream Food Bank Society.

Volunteers are already accepting donations for their family Christmas hampers.

“We’re looking for toys specifically for infants to 11 year olds,” says Gayle Ireland, president of the Goldstream Food Bank Society. “We don’t need stuffies because we have way too many of them. The best toys are unused ones and current toys, something parents would give their own child for Christmas.”

READ MORE: Goldstream Food Bank doors are open for anyone who’s struggling financially

Every year, the group prepares around 700 Christmas hampers for those in need. Each hamper contains a gift card for a turkey (or meat of your choice) and everything else for a Christmas dinner.

The hampers will be filled with toys from ‘Santa’ for kids up to 11 and gift cards for teens. They’re also looking for stocking stuffers for the older teens, such as makeup, quirky trinkets, and card games.

Last year, they handed out 656 hampers. According to Ireland, a third of all hampers directly benefit children in the community.

“If you’re thinking about signing up for a Christmas hamper, don’t wait,” says Ireland. “We’re non-judgmental here. We just want to help you out and make life a little easier.”

ALSO READ: Annual Truck Light convoy brightens up communities with lights and food donations

She recalls Christmas 2017 as a memorable year. A young father came into the food bank on the final day of Christmas hampers and explained how his ex-wife was bringing over their kids from the mainland. He had nothing for them.

Ireland and her fellow volunteers were able to quickly organize some presents and stocking stuffers just before he ran off to meet them. Just as he was about to leave, she handed him a new Christmas tree ornament, saying that it was for him.

“I told him that this whole time he had been so worried, he didn’t get a Christmas present for himself. I said that it was my gift to him.”

She says he broke down in tears.

“I went home and had the best Christmas ever. It feels good when you give back.”

Residents who have toys, gift cards, or non-perishable items to donate can drop by the food bank in the basement of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 in Langford.

In October, they’re open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. In November, they will have the same hours but open every weekday.

Volunteers who want to help can call 250-474-4443 to organize availability. Families who are looking to sign up for a Christmas hamper can drop by the food bank to get an application form.

To donate, visit canadahelps.org/en/charities/goldstream-food-bank-society/.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Both sides in Saanich School District strike question calls for mediation

Sidney council has called on the province to appoint a mediator

Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Bike to Work Society merge

The new organization plans a full roll out in spring 2020

Canadian men will play Olympic basketball qualifying tournament in Victoria

The six teams in Victoria will be divided into two groups of three with each playing all the other teams in its own group

Test reveals fentanyl creep into Sooke heroin supply

The fentanyl made up 20 per cent of the sample

West Shore RCMP arrest woman, seize drugs, cash and replica firearms in Langford

Bike unit seizes 178 grams of methamphetamine and about 48 grams of mixed opioids

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Senior dies after suffering medical emergency and crashing vehicle in Nanoose Bay

Bystanders performed CPR while waiting for first responders

Man, 50, dies following incident in downtown Parksville

Teenage girl hailed as hero for intervening after witnessing situation unfold

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Most Read