Our Community: Help Fill a Dream by buying bouquets, Christmas trees

Country Grocer is partnering with Help Fill A Dream to raise money through the sale of bouquets and Christmas trees this holiday season to support hundreds of sick children.

From now until Dec. 17, the company will donate a portion of sales from Dream bouquets created by Eurosa Farms and from Island-grown Christmas trees from Wintergreen Tree Farm.

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This is the 10th anniversary of the event, and it comes at a time when demand for programs has dramatically increased and the ability to raise funds has decreased.

“A lot has changed in the last eight months, but some things haven’t. Kids are still getting sick, kids are still being diagnosed, and kids still need our support,” said Craig Smith, Help Fill A Dream executive director.

“Dreams are alive and well. In fact, they are more important than even. Dreams represent hope, something to look forward to, the promise of a better time ahead. We simply could not support the number of Island families that we do each year without the generosity of such incredible community partners like Country Grocer.”

Donations are also accepted at the checkout.

Country Grocer suppliers will be featuring special promotions throughout the campaign.

This year, the annual Breakfast with Santa has been transformed into Santa’s Drive-thru Lunch. It takes place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5 in the back parking lot of the Archie Browning Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Rd. For more information, go to helpfilladream.com.

Shop online for holiday décor, and help residents of Nigel House

Shop safely for high-quality holiday décor while supporting those most vulnerable in the community during Broadmead Care’s virtual Ho-Ho-Ho-liday Fundraiser online auction, now until Nov. 30.

Daphne Goode, a former board member, has donated her own Christmas decoration collection, transformed into 50 auction lots that can be won through online bidding. The proceeds will benefit the residents of Nigel House, a home run by Broadmead Care for 26 adults ages 19 to 55, who require 24-hour personal care due to complex health conditions.

“I have been thinking about fundraising for the residents at Nigel House for some time, especially since the start of the pandemic,” said Goode. “I love the look and quality of Bombay, Bowring and Chintz and Company — and that’s a big part of what you will see. Some of these pieces retail for $25 to $40 each. These will go for a fraction of the price. It’s a win-win.”

There is also an incentive prize — you can win your holiday tree this year just by bidding.

Funds will go towards enhancing programs and equipment needs that are not covered by government funding.

“These are challenging times in fundraising and we are working hard to create new ways to reach out to the community in a safe and engaging way,” said Mandy Parker, VP of philanthropy and communications at Broadmead Care. “Daphne has been such an incredible advocate for our residents and we are so thankful and excited to share her gift.”

For advance viewing of the items up for auction, go to broadmeadcare.com/ho-ho-ho.

Fill-a-Truck campaign to spread holiday cheer and raise funds

The Sooke Firefighters Association and IAFF Local 4841 are hoping to fill cupboards and put a holiday turkey on the table for some families in the community with their Fill-a-truck Fundraising Campaign.

The goal is to raise $15,000, approximately one dollar per resident. The value of each monetary donation will be matched through the purchasing power of the Sooke Food Bank, with support from Western Foods and Village Foods.

The campaign, which will support 400 local families, is delivered in partnership with the Sooke Christmas Bureau and the District of Sooke.

“The pandemic has greatly impacted people: financially and emotionally,” said Sooke mayor Maja Tait. “As a community, it is important for us to support one another, and between this campaign and the Santa Run, I hope we are able to do so.”

Donations can be made to a GoFundMe page set up by the firefighters association and union local on behalf of the Sooke Christmas Bureau.

Sooke Santa Run changed, but still running

The Sooke firefighters’ Sooke Santa Run, a fixture of the fundraising campaign, will continue with changes

On Dec. 12, starting at dusk, four fire trucks decorated with bright and colourful Christmas lights and playing festive holiday music will drive through neighbourhoods to spread holiday cheer.

Although residents usually provide food contributions during the run, they have been asked not to do so this year.

“The community of Sooke is incredibly generous. As we adapt our operations during the pandemic, we do not have the capacity to handle the influx of contributions received and kindly asked those who are wishing to donate to do so through the Go Fund Me Campaign that the Sooke Firefighter’s Association and IAFF Local 4841 has organized,” said Ben Molesky co-chair of the Sooke Christmas Bureau.

The Sooke Christmas Bureau is encouraging families and individuals who need an extra hand this holiday season to apply for their Christmas hampers by calling the Sooke Food Bank at 250-642-7666 by Dec. 1.

To learn more about the Santa Run and to donate, go to sooke.ca/santa.

Bottle and toy drive provides gifts for children

Ensure that no child misses out on the joy of Christmas by supporting the Victoria Chinatown and Saanich Lions Club’s Bottle and Toy Drive on Saturday, Nov. 28.

You can give the gift of Christmas to a child by donating your bottle returns, a new unwrapped toy, cash or even baby supplies.

The drive-through donation event takes place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 28 in the parking lot of Houle Electric, 4240 Glanford Ave. Pickup service is available on Friday, Nov. 27, by calling 250-589-8709.

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