VIDEO: Saanich mayor helps locals buy groceries during Christmas Blessings Challenge

Mayor Fred Haynes, Royal Oak Country Grocer pay it forward with $25 gift certificates

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes got into the giving spirit of Christmas on Monday morning as he gave away 10 $25 gift certificates from the Royal Oak Country Grocer to Saanich residents at the checkout counter.

Haynes made an appearance at the Royal Oak Country Grocer at 7 a.m. Monday morning to help give back to his community. The not-so-random act of kindness is part of an awareness campaign and a broader community fundraising effort to spread the blessings at Christmas time.

READ ALSO: Saanich Christmas elf delivers 1,416 pairs of socks to locals just in time for holidays

The Christmas Blessing Challenge was started four years ago by Alex Burns, a real estate agent with RE/MAX and Victoria Homes. The initiative asks people to donate to The Mustard Seed or contribute in other ways to helping others out, particularly people experiencing poverty or homelessness, during the holidays.

This year, the challenge is to “pay it forward” by paying for someone else’s groceries or coffee order. The idea is that one person pays it forward for another person and the cycle continues, encouraging a spirit of giving in the community.

Haynes was contacted by Burns to participate in this year’s Christmas Blessings Challenge. After being contacted by Burns, Haynes reached out to Peter Cavin at the Royal Oak Country Grocer, who stepped up to provide 10 gift certificates for the mayor to present to people buying pre-Christmas groceries.

“It was moving to see how people responded,” Haynes said. “Working together we could be there to help pay it forward and share the blessings of Christmas with Saanich residents.”

READ ALSO: Plan ahead to avoid family fights at Christmas, says clinical psychologist

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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