It’s going to look a little different, but the elves are working away to open the doors to the Langley Christmas Bureau with the hopes of raising $280,000 in an effort to support 800 local families and 2,000 children this holiday season.
In keeping with provincial health guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic the bureau will not be collecting toy donations or holding the Christmas Wish Breakfast at Newlands Golf & Country Club, but rather the community is being asked to make donations of any amount in cash, or gift cards in $25 denominations.
“We all understand the impact of this year, and COVID, and businesses closing, and more people than ever not employed and so we understand that the needs within our community and beyond will be greater than ever before,” said Judy Davies, with the local country club that plays host to the annual breakfast and toy drive.
“We hope as we [temporarily] pivot to a different direction this year that people still understand and still help, and I believe they will,” she added.
With the generous donations from the community last year the bureau was able to provide a Christmas for around 650 local families, but they are expecting their client list to increase by 20 per cent this year, said Velma MacAllister, coordinator of the Langley Christmas Bureau.
“The Langley Christmas Bureau is volunteer workers, so none of the money raised goes to wages, or to storage… it’s not even for the administration of our funds, nothing goes out of that money raised for anything,” she said.
Registered families will receive a $50 gift card for each child to purchase a toy, a $100 grocery gift card plus an additional $50 grocery gift card for each child.
Families will also receive a reading book voucher, that they can redeem at the Langley branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library under the Wrap-a-Read program, thanks to the Langley Literacy Association.
“We’re in need of big help,” MacAllister emphasized about raising funds.
Those wishing to donate can scan the Christmas bureau’s QR code, by opening the camera app on their cellphone and holding it over the bar-code.
Once the code is scanned an alert will appear to open the Christmas bureau’s webpage where a cash donation of any amount can be made.
Cash or gift card donations can also be made in-person at Langley City Hall (20399 Douglas Cres.).
The bureau is requiring clients, sponsors and volunteers visiting the office to wear masks.
Beginning Nov. 12, the office of the bureau will open at the Timms Community Centre (20399 Douglas Cres.) from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. until Dec. 12.
During the first week of November the bureau will contact families from last year to set-up an appointment to come to the community centre. New clients will need to contact the bureau (604-530-3001) to also set-up an appointment.
Last year’s Christmas Wish Breakfast, in it’s third year, saw a record number of 3,000 people who came to Newlands with gifts for the fundraising event. In exchange for a donation to the Christmas bureau, Newlands offered a free buffet breakfast inside the banquet hall, where guests could visit with Santa, listen to live music and share in the merriment of the season.
Although the breakfast will not be taking place this year, the spirit of the season remains as the community rallies this year to help make the season a little brighter for Langley families and kids.
For more information and to donate visit langleychristmasbureau.com or call