Caring for Community at Christmas
The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas Program ensures local children and youth experience the magic of Christmas, and that adults and seniors also experience joy and dignity over the holidays.
With your help, we can make sure that local children and youth are filled with excitement when they wake up on Christmas morning and see a special gift waiting for them under the tree. SOS collects new toys to fill the 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 2018 Christmas campaign, SOS assisted 1,231 adults and seniors, and 1,257 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. Please click here for a list of 2019 participating Angel Tree businesses.
Thank you for bringing joy to local residents this Christmas! Click on this link to make a donation with your credit card, or drop by the SOS Parksville Community Services Centre (245 West Hirst Avenue) Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Our Qualicum Beach location (744 Primrose Street) will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8:30 am. and 4:30 pm. New, unwrapped gifts are also gratefully accepted at both locations.
Registration for the SOS Christmas Program begins on November 13, 2019 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 arrive 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 for individuals who work during the day. SOS will also accommodate working families for evening distribution through the Toy Shop. *Please note, the Toy Shop will close at 3 pm on Dec. 24, 2019. SOS is closed December 25, 26 and 27.
Alternatively adults can register at the SOS Community Services Centre in Qualicum Beach at 744 Primrose St. on Wednesdays, Nov. 13 - Dec. 4, 2019 from 2 to 4 pm. Or on Fridays from Nov. 15 - Dec. 6, 9:30 am - 11:30 am.
Registration will also take place in Bowser at the Wildwood Community Church at 113 McColl Rd. on Thursdays, Nov. 7 from 10 am - 12 pm, Nov. 28 from 1 pm to 4 pm, and Dec. 12 from 10 am to 1 pm.
Please remember to bring:
- Photo ID for each adult (19 yrs+)
- Proof of residency
- Care Cards for minor children
Grocery Store Gift Cards will be distributed by appointment in December at the SOS Community Services Centres in Parksville and in Qualicum Beach. Toy Distribution will take place in December at our Parksville location.
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 and more. The deadline to apply to be a Christmas volunteer in 2019 is Oct. 11, however, residents can still assist the program in other ways, such as baking, dropping off handmade items or gifts for adults and seniors who access the program, holding your own fundraiser and more. Please call 250-248-2093 ext. 230 for more information.
Community Events benefitting the program
- Nov. 17, 2019, 12 pm - 2 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. 27, 2019, 6:30 am - 10 am: Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive. This is the 11th Annual event. Bring a new, unwrapped toy, monetary donation or gifr card and receive a free breakfast buffet.
- Nov. 16 - Dec. 7: Red Apple Toy Drive. Fill the Sleigh Day: Dec. 7, 10 am - 2pm. Fill the Sleigh with toys and gifts for teens and pre-teenagers.
Nov. 30, 2019 from 12 – 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. Hot chocolate and cookies by donation. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! The Lounge 99.9 FM will be live on location. Benefitting SOS and the Salvation Army.
Please call 250-248-2093 ext. 229 for more information about this program.