The local liquor stores are selling the twin bears, one bear going home with consumers, the other going to a child in hospital or in a transition house this Christmas season. (Roxanne Hooper/Black Press)

Last-minute gift giving can help Langley charities, too

Calendar, bears, and ornament sales all help local charities and causes abroad

by Alex Wilks/Times Contributor

Langley residents who haven’t finished their holiday shopping have the opportunity to help out a charity in need.

“I think it’s just a great way to be able to give back to the community,” said Karen Fhum, a senior communications officer with the BC liquor distribution branch.

While monetary donations might make the perfect present to give loved ones, many organizations within Langley City and Township are offering more tangible gifts in exchange for community support.

BC liquor stores have once again launched the Share-a-Bear program. Until the end of the month, customers can buy a stuffed bear, with a plaid hoodie and maple leaf paws, for $11.70. A twin bear will be donated to a local shelter, hospital or other worthy charity – to brighten the holiday season for a child.

“It helps out the local charities that each liquor store advocates for,” explained Fhum.

“Not only is it great for the charities, but it’s also great for the customers to take home a furry bear and spread a little cheer during the holidays.”

This charitable program has been going on since 1989, and has gifted almost 170,000 bears around the province.

“In many cases, customers donate both bears or make multiple purchases,” she said.

While teddy bears fit rather snugly into most holiday stockings, so does a Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) holiday pet calendar.

“To do something kind for an animal, I think this is way more special than a scarf or mittens,” said Jayne Nelson, LAPS’ executive director.

“As with any charity, please support something that’s near and dear to your hearts.”

The 2019 Furry Tail Endings calendar – plus some tree ornaments – highlight stories and photos of their shelter animals. The calendars are $20, and available at Patti Dale Animal Shelter, 26220 56th Ave,. in Aldergrove.

“We just can’t do the work without the support of our community,” Nelson said, noting all proceeds helping the shelter buy need items such as high-quality food, durable toys, and harnesses.

Likewise, the Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society has also produced a 2019 firefighter and pets calendar, selling for $10 (at Shoppers Drug Mart in Langley), with partial proceeds once again going to LAPS.

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Bureau needs help

Langley Christmas Bureau is a volunteer-run organization that is grateful for every contribution.

“Donations allow us to purchase toys and give children presents on Christmas,” explained toy coordinator Donalda Whaite.

“We are all very fortunate and there are a lot of people, families and children who aren’t,” she said.

Langley residents who are wanting to making a monetary contribution can visit City hall with their gift.

“These kids wouldn’t be getting something if it weren’t for our generous donors,” Whaites added, noting that brand new toys, clothes and books are purchased in order to ensure all registered families have gifts for their children at Christmas.

While it’s always good to support local charities, there is also an international charity that could use a helping hand.

A local non-profit gift shop, Ten Thousand Villages (20525 Fraser Hwy.), sells artisan crafted products that help improve lives of people living in poverty.

“Purchasing anything in our store helps people because it gives someone a livable wage,” explained Trish Wong, manager of the Langley shop.

The conscious step sock line would be a great Christmas gift and each purchase gives a donation to a different cause – providing meals for at-risk school children, supporting the oceans, and stocking up community libraries, she explained.

“The advantage is, instead of just giving to a charity, you’re supporting livelihood.”

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