Ruth King elementary principal Mark Kaercher

Vancouver Island Construction Association’s charitable gift card program proves effective

Families in need benefit from construction association’s charity work.

Some members of the Ruth King elementary school community received a nice little surprise recently as their children prepared to head into the Christmas break.

The school was one of several in the Greater Victoria area targeted by the Vancouver Island Construction Association for its annual grocery gift card charity giveaway, which sees $1,750 in grocery gift cards handed over for distribution by the school to struggling families at this time of year and into the new year.

“This generous donation is being used to support families in need and ease the financial pressures that sometimes accompanies the Christmas season,” said Ruth King principal Mark Kaercher.

“Thanks to the support of the Vancouver Island Construction Association and some other community minded organizations, we are able to help support families this holiday season.”

Greg Baynton, the association’s CEO for the past 11 years, said children and families have been an important charitable focus for the group in recent years.

While the members formerly supported a stuff the backpack style project, as the schools and their student body became better known to the association, some different ideas came forward as a way to help.

“We noticed that some real fundamentals – like nutritious food – were missing, not just at Christmas, but afterward,” he said. “We decided that the gift cards were the better way to go. The idea of gift packs and pretty things just wasn’t hitting the mark.”

The gift card idea stemmed from a fundraiser done at the association’s Christmas party. Attendees were asked to empty their pockets of change, which led to batches of coins being brought in, and later Farmer Construction brought in paint cans for companies to fill up. A fun internal competition saw the coin cans weighed, and a 50/50 draw was also held to boost the proceeds, Baynton said.

He’d like to see the group aim for $10,000 in total next year, especially after seeing and hearing of the impact the funds make on local families.

“The touching part is when you talk to the teachers and the principals, (and hear of) the commitment of these people, and the challenges of kids coming to school hungry and that impacting their ability to learn,” he said.

“Some of the parents are holding down two or three jobs just to make ends meet.”

The association receives five or six letters a year from appreciative parents, he added. “It almost brings tears to your eyes, the gratitude people feel for the help they receive. We’re just so appreciative to be able to help in this way.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

PHOTOS: Cool cats cruise in for the ninth annual Langford Show and Shine bash

The ninth annual event features classic and muscle cars and several prizes

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read