Caring for Community at Christmas
The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas Program ensures our local children and youth have a magical Christmas, and that adults and seniors also experience some joy and dignity over the holidays.
With your help, we can ensure that when our local children and youth wake up on Christmas morning, their faces will light up, because there is a special gift waiting for them under the tree. SOS collects enough new toys to fill its Toy Shop, where low income parents, grandparents and caregivers can shop for free. With your help, families, adults and seniors can choose their own food items to enjoy over the holidays. Together we’re ensuring they have a good meal to share. Together, we’re helping create magic.
People can bring in monetary donations or new, unwrapped gifts to the SOS, year-round, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Monetary donations help purchase grocery store gift cards for the families, individuals and seniors.
During the 2017 Christmas campaign, SOS assisted 1,146 adults and seniors, and 1,248 children received gifts.
The SOS Toy Shop is often short on gifts for teens. Please click here for a list of ideas for teens and pre-teens.
The Angel Tree program helps stock the SOS Toy Shop. Visit a local participating business in November and December and you’ll discover an SOS Angel Tree. The gifts listed on these Angels have been identified as “that one special gift” that a child or youth is hoping for. Purchase the gift listed on one of the Angel ornaments (or as close to it as possible), attach the Angel to your unwrapped gift and return it to the business location to ensure it is included in the gift distribution.Click here for a list of Businesses who are graciously hosting an SOS Angel Tree in 2018.
Click on this link to make a donation with your credit card, or drop by either SOS location (245 West Hirst Avenue in Parksville or 744 Primrose St, Qualicum Beach) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. New, unwrapped gifts are also gratefully accepted.
Registration to the SOS Christmas Program begins on November 14, 2018 and runs to early December. Adults must register in person at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville at 245 West Hirst Ave, between the hours of 9:30 am and 3:30 pm. Due to high volume, please be here by 3 pm so that we have time to process all applications before 3:30 pm. Evening Registrations (5-7 pm) are available by appointment to individuals who work during the day. SOS will also accommodate working families for evening distribution through the Toy Shop. *Please note, SOS will help individuals right up until 4 pm on Dec. 21, 2018. SOS is closed December 24, 25 and 26.
Alternatively adults can register at the SOS Community Services Centre in Qualicum Beach at 744 Primrose St. on Wednesdays, Nov. 14, Nov. 21, Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 2018 from 2 to 4 pm.
Registration will also take place in Qualicum Bay at the Lighthouse Community Centre at 240 Lions Way on Thursdays, Oct. 25, Nov. 29 and Dec. 13, 2018 from 10 am to 1 pm.
Please remember to bring:
(Click for examples)
Grocery Store Gift Card and Toy Distribution will take place in December at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville.
Would you like to volunteer for the Christmas program? There are a number of ways you can help, from sorting toys, decorating, stocking the Toy Shop, taking registration, Christmas baking and more. The deadline to apply to be a Christmas volunteer in 2018 is in October. Please call 250-248-2093 ext. 230.
Community Events benefitting the program
- Nov. 18, 2018, 12 pm - 1 pm: Equestrian Christmas Toy Ride. The Silver Spur Riding Club Hosts this event annually. Riders and their horses don Christmas attire and make their way from Ballenas Secondary School to SOS, collecting gifts along the way.
- Nov. 28, 2018, 6:30 am - 10 am: Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive. This is the 10th Annual event. Bring a new, unwrapped toy or monetary donation and receive a free breakfast buffet.
- Dec. 8, 2018: Red Apple. Fill the Sleigh. Fill the Sleigh with toys and gifts for teens and pre-teenagers.
- Dec. 9, 2018, 11 am - 4 pm: Community Food and Toy Fill Up at Save On Foods. Organized by On Line Electric Co. Ltd. and Robyn Gervais-Royal Lepage. Drop off new toys, gifts, monetary donations and non-perishable food. Benefitting SOS and the Salvation Army.
- Dec. 15, 2018, 2- 3:30 pm. Todd Sjogren and Tony MacAulay Community Toy Drive & Free Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Bring a new, unwrapped gift or monetary donation, and enjoy a free skate.
Please call 250-248-2093 ext. 229 for more information about this program.