Surrey Christmas Bureau director Lisa Werring and longtime volunteer Fred Minty stand inside the charity’s home this season. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey Christmas Bureau director Lisa Werring and longtime volunteer Fred Minty stand inside the charity’s home this season. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Donations down, need up at Surrey Christmas Bureau

Charity says many Surrey families with six or more children are ‘in crisis’ this year

The Surrey Christmas Bureau is noticing “quite a shortfall” in toy donations this holiday.

At the same time, they’re seeing a huge number of children who need help, said bureau boss Lisa Werring.

While the number of families needing help this Christmas is about the same as last year, there are “a number of large families in crisis with six-plus kids,” she noted.

“So a lot of large families are in crisis and need our help, which is really impacting our inventory, of course,” said Werring. “It’s not just refugee families, but large families across the board struggling to make ends meet in the Lower Mainland.”

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Behind the scenes look at the Surrey Christmas Bureau

Werring said toys are urgently needed for boys and girls ages 10 to 12, as well as teenagers.

“It’s odd for us to see such a drop in the 10 to 12 age range,” she added.

Werring surveyed some Surrey students, as well as girl guide and scout troupes, and has compiled a list of desired items.

For those aged 10 to 12, gift ideas include Shopkins and Num Noms toys, Hatchimals, LOL Surprise toys, arts and craft supplies, jewelry-making kits, remote control cars, nerf blasters, science kits, microscopes, telescopes and walkie talkies.

For teens, the bureau is looking for hair appliances such as blow dryers and straighteners, shavers, hair-cutting kits, skate boards, head phones, video games and gift certificates for all kinds of activities, including movies, yoga studios, hair salons, coffee shops and of course, mall gift cards.

Tickets to sports games or concerts are also sought, said Werring.

SEE ALSO: LETTER: Surrey showed its true colours with its Christmas generosity

“Last year, the bureau helped just under 2,000 families last year, and that included more than 4,000 children,” she said. “All of that is done with the help of about 125 volunteers that work very hard during those months at our toy depot. Think about the impact it has on a child if they don’t have a Christmas. If it was 4,000 kids who didn’t have a Christmas? It’s astonishing to think that could happen and we’re happy to be in a position to help make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Gifts or monetary donations can be dropped off at the bureau’s toy depot at 6878 King George Blvd., and toys can be donated at any Surrey fire hall.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

RCMP Isp. Benoit Maure (top right) has written a book, Leading at the Edge, which details Canadian peacekeeping missions, including his own 1999 mission in Guatemala (bottom right). (Contributed photos)
Longtime RCMP officer pens book on Canadian peacekeeping efforts

RCMP Insp. Benoit Maure’s new book, Leading at the Edge, features stories from 10 missions

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read