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

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Coast Collective ready to Raise the Roof with Langford art auction

The fundraiser is Friday, Oct 18 at the Royal Canadian Legion on Station Road

Saanich residents planning Halloween fireworks displays must plan ahead

Folks are required to attend one of three safety courses, buy a permit

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Most Read