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

Botched bank robbery, flying bullets, and terrified horse carriage staff

The voices of those caught up in Stephen Reid’s gunfire police chase through sleepy Victoria

Oak Bay High says goodbye to two ‘gems’ who changed lives

Lorna Maximick and Sally Murphy have big plans for their retirement years

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged Victoria fentanyl dealer

Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to the investigation

PHOTOS: Oak Bay police officers rescue baby seal found on rocky shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

Photos: Community comes out for Oak Bay News tea time

More than 100 people filtered through the doors and into the elegant… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Most Read