The toy shop at the Salvation Army’s Stan Hagen Centre for Families has a wide assortment of items for children of all ages. The shop opened its doors a week earlier than usual this year

FAMILY: Families the focus at Christmas for Salvation Army

Goal to make holidays special for family members of all ages

With Christmas just over two weeks away, many people are stocking up on goodies and braving crowds to get their shopping done.

But for low-income families, the challenges of the holiday season can often outweigh the excitement, and that’s where the Salvation Army comes in.

“Everyone has their own family traditions, but within society we usually think of that big Christmas dinner and then opening gifts,” says Keira Schindel, public relations and event co-ordinator. “Salvation Army really tries to make sure families get that, so they feel supported throughout the season.”

The food drives, kettle campaigns and toy shop are the major focal points for the charitable organization.

“We’re anticipating helping over 3,000 households with hampers,” Schindel says. “And we’ve already had 500 families through the toy shop.”

They’re still collecting donations for the toy shop, she adds, hoping to fill in the need for older gifts.

“A lot of people think of the younger kids, but the biggest gap that we see in toys is for teenagers up to 18 years old. They’re definitely a tricky demographic to buy for.”

Soft blankets, scarves or mitten sets and books are a great idea for the older age groups. The easiest way to cover off the teens is to drop off or mail gift cards to the Salvation Army’s Stan Hagen Centre for Families at 2695 Quadra St. in Victoria.

“Gift cards are a good way to do a catch-all,” Schindel says. “It allows teens a little more choice in what they’re looking for.”

Cash donations are always welcome, as it gives the organization the funds to purchase needed supplies, such as warm socks or fresh food.

Just listen for the ringing bells to find a kettle around town, or for tech-savvy donors, text hope1005 to 45678 to donate $5 to the campaign.

With the Salvation Army’s toy shop having opened a week earlier than usual this year and more families than ever expected to benefit from their annual campaigns, there’s never been a better time to give and help make sure families across the region have a wonderful holiday.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 250-386-3366 ext. 3.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com

Catch the sounds of Christmas

• For a boost of holiday spirit, buy a ticket to the Naden Band’s Christmas Concerts at the Royal Theatre, on nightly at 7:30 p.m. from Dec. 15 to 17. Tickets are $10 and concert-goers are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army toy drive.

Just Posted

Saanich councillor open to more commercial operations in local parks

Coun. Ned Taylor had raised the issue during his election campaign

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

Langford’s Sarah Beckett Memorial playground opens

Life of West Shore RCMP Constable honoured with new playground

Haber nets strong comeback in Pacific FC home game win

Vancouver Island team takes 2-0 win over Valour FC

Improvements to Sinclair Road coming

Development comes after Cadboro Bay Residents Association (CBRA) raised concerns

VIDEO: Here’s the news you missed this weekend

Some of the top weekend headlines from your community and beyond

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read