Santa Bear is a visible icon for Santas Anonymous, the Greater Victoria charitable organization that is celebrating its 40th year in 2017. Courtesy Santas Anonymous

Santas Anonymous broadening its scope in Greater Victoria

Organization hosts its annual Miracle on Broad Street fundraiser this Friday

A charitable organization marking its 40th year of working with children and families in Greater Victoria expects to help more than 1,500 families, a task made more difficult with donations down so far from 2016.

Santas Anonymous, a non-profit group whose 420 volunteers logged 19,000 hours last year, expects to touch the lives of close to 6,000 people this year, including more than 3,600 children, says executive director Christine Hewitt.

“Santas has started to take a larger role, ” she says, adding that the group has added 100 families a year to its programs since 2011. “With 40 years in the community, it’s an exciting time and a time when we’ve made significant changes to the way we [work within] the community.”

Having had its beginnings in providing toys to children in families in need, Santas has broadened its scope over the years to include a busy special grant program.

Since 2002, it has handed out approximately $1.9 million to community groups, and that’s outside of its Christmas toys and grocery hamper activities. A smaller amount of donations could affect how much work they can do in the community next year, Hewitt says.

The organization is part of a Victoria-wide group known as the Christmas Giving Network. It also includes the Salvation Army, Mustard Seed, Sooke and Sidney food banks, St. Vincent de Paul and other community agencies, which together receive in the area of 12,000 household applications for help around Christmastime.

Part of the increasing caseload for Santas comes from the fact it has taken on a certain amount of the kids and families toys distribution from those other organizations, so they can help singles and focus more on their core area of assistance.

Santas Anonymous, together with its media partners CFAX radio and CTV, is hosting the annual Miracle on Broad Street this Friday (Dec. 8) from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fundraiser brought in $585,000 in 2016 and Hewitt is hopeful for this year.

“If we come even remotely close to last year we’ll be thrilled,” she says.

For more information on donating or applying for a hamper, visit cfaxsantas.com.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich police warn of phone scams ‘spoofing’ phone numbers, asking for money

Informing police of scam calls helps track trends, stop scammers

Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

Driver issued 90-day roadside driving prohibition

Hopeful Sidney pot shop owner challenges town in court after application denied

A court petition has been filed against the Town of Sidney

Saanich-based pharmaceutical company stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read