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

Royal Bay students tackle climate change solutions

Students welcomes the public, presents 95 projects dealing with climate change

Full buses leave Colwood woman fuming over commute from West Shore

BC Transit plans to add eight double-deckers in 2020, will rotate on 50 and 61 routes

Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

Driver issued 90-day roadside driving prohibition

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