It was a year like no other for the Langley Christmas Bureau, and not only because like many other groups, it was forced to significantly alter operations, but also because it far surpassed its fundraising goal and supported a greater number of local families and children this holiday season.
“It was beyond out wildest dreams,” said Velma MacAllister, coordinator of the local bureau.
“We were so pleased with everything; what we got done in a month and a bit was incredible. The volunteers were fantastic,” she reflected.
Through generous donations from individuals and businesses in Langley the bureau raised $370,000 – exceeding its $280,000 fundraising target.
“We had small and large donations, and it was important to get the small ones as it was to get the large ones,” MacAllister emphasized. “Some people, especially seniors, sometimes it’s hard for them to give but they give because that’s been part of their life is giving.”
This year the bureau supported nearly 700 local families with 1,600 children, which MacAllister estimates is 20 per cent greater than the number of families support last year.
“They were so grateful that we as an organization, [the] Christmas bureau, were able to help them,” she said.
The bureau officially wrapped its giving season on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Since mid-November the bureau has been registering families in need of support to its temporarily location at Timms Community Centre (20399 Douglas Cres.) to pick-up gift cards for grocery and toys.
Registered families received a $50 gift card for each child towards the purchase of a toy, a $100 grocery gift card, plus an additional $50 grocery gift card for each child.
They also received a reading book voucher to redeem at the Langley branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library.
“We’re grateful – so grateful for every penny that was brought into us, and a huge thank you to everybody that donated to the Langley Christmas Bureau, and to guarantee them that every cent they donated is every cent that the clients got. No admin fee. No wages. All Langley Christmas Bureau,” MacAllister said, noting the bureau is entirely run by volunteers.
Although the Langley Christmas Bureau has wrapped up at its work for this holiday season, donations can be made anytime online by visiting langleychristmasbureau.com.