Holiday season is just around the corner.
As people begin their holiday season shopping, and hit toy stores to find the perfect gifts for their kids, some community organizations ask them to be a little more generous and keep the sick children, and their families, in mind.
In Langley and nearby communities, there are multiple toy drives happening and even some celebrities are attending.
1. Langley’s Andy Bhatti Interventions in a collaboration with Survivors Supporting Survivors is hosting a celebrity food and toy drive to support Sophie’s Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.
The annual drive will benefit dozens of children and families served by the youth advocacy centre. In attendance will be Vancouver Canucks alumni Kirk McLean and Gino Odjick, who will sign autographs for cash donations, non-perishable food, and kids toys.
Langley’s Andy Bhatti, who have been involved for about eight years, said the initiative will support families and victims who have been abused.
“Our goal is to raise awareness around childhood trauma and sexual abuse, letting people know they are not alone and where to get help from. We want people to have an amazing Christmas and I assure the survivors that they are never alone,” said Bhatti, who is a drug and alcohol interventionist and addiction counsellor.
The event will take place today (Thursday, Nov. 24) from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Shoppers Drug Mart at 22196 50th Ave.
Sophie’s Place Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is British Columbia’s first fully operational Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, established in 2012. It is a partnership of the City of Surrey, Surrey RCMP, BC Ministry for Children and Family Development, BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and The Centre for Child Development of the Lower Mainland.
2. Inclusion Langley Society on Thursday, Dec. 8 will host its sixth annual toy drive.
The society is asking people to bring new and unwrapped toys, personal care items for youth, or gift cards. All donations will go to the Langley Christmas Bureau to support families and individuals in need in Langley.
There will be refreshments, bright lights, Christmas displays, and Santa with Mrs. Claus to greet those in attendance.
3. Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive is an annual campaign organized in memory of Keian Blundell, a six-year-old Langley boy who lost his battle with leukemia in 2014.
The Blundell family, in collaboration with the Surrey RCMP, is asking people to donate new unwrapped toys, cash donations, gift cards in support of sick children and their families, in Keian’s memory. He was an honourary member of the RCMP.
“Keian always found the silver lining in every cloud. He faced his challenges with bravery and encompassed wisdom beyond his years,” said Keian’s mom, Chantal Blundell.
“He wanted all children with a life-threatening illness to feel love and joy during the holiday season. This is Keian’s Wish,” she added.
The drive runs until Thursday, Dec. 15. People can drop off donations at the Surrey RCMP’s main detachment or at one of three district offices in Whalley/City Centre, Guildford, and Newton. The Blundell family has also set up an Amazon Wish List for those who wish to give online.
Three community donation events will be held in support of the toy frive this year at the Guildford, Newton, and South Surrey Superstore locations on Friday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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