The Christmas Bureau of the Columbia Valley has been bringing cheer to local families since its inception in 1992. The non-profit organization was created to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and memorable holiday season.
The bureau raises funds to purchase gift cards (from local grocery stores) and to provide a small box of personalized gifts and goodies, which are then distributed to families and individuals that are in need of extra help around Christmas time.
“Everyone from time to time has needed a helping hand. We believe that everyone deserves a special Christmas dinner without the added stress and financial burden that often comes with the holiday season,” said Christmas Bureau Organizer Angie Smith. “I remember my family getting help around Christmas and it felt really good when boxes of stuff arrived, so it’s nice to be able to give back to the community.”
There are a number of different ways the community has been asked to help, whether that be sponsoring a family, or multiple families. Sponsoring a family costs between $75 and $200 depending on the size of the chosen family. Sponsors will be asked to assemble and wrap a small box (shoe size box), or gift bag of personalized gifts and treats to go along with the grocery gift card.
Donations will also be accepted in lieu of shoe boxes for an amount of $25 per family to cover the cost of the items, or a flat donation that will go toward purchasing the gift cards and personalized items. Tax receipts will be issued for amounts of $20 and over. Applicants to the program are requested to drop off their forms at Family Dynamix and the Ministry of Children and Family Development as well as the Akisqnuk and Shuswap band offices for band members by December 7th. Gift and donation pick up is scheduled at the Columbia Valley Centre on December 14th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Angel Trees will also be placed in various locations around Invermere for recipients who have registered to receive gifts.
For more information on donations, shoebox items, Angel Trees, or to sponsor a family contact Angie at 250-342-2611 or Laura Hermakin at 250-341-5556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .