For more than 20 years, the Central Saanich Lions Club has been helping the community dispose of its Christmas trees, raising thousands of dollars for local charities in the process.
This year, the club was able to raise approximately $5,500 from community donations that will go to local food banks, Shawnigan Camp, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association, local sports teams and more, said Ken Mariette, public relations for the club.
He said the support from the community has been overwhelming.
“We’re gobsmacked. We had people come by with no tree and ask for the donation box. One gentleman donated $50 even though he didn’t have a tree to chip, saying how much he admired the Lions Club and their service work.”
And it wasn’t just financial support; people routinely dropped off coffee, hot chocolate and cookies for the members to keep their hands warm and spirits up as they worked out in the cold, he said.
The Lions’ members happily reciprocated and went out of their way to offer help where help was needed; one woman didn’t have a suitable vehicle to bring her tree in, so several members took their truck and picked it up.
“It’s a splendid example of the Lions’ motto: We Serve,” said Mariette. “I can attest that this annual event truly extends the spirit of Christmas.”
For more information, visit lionsclubs.org.