Langley brightened Christmas for more than 1,700 kids

The Langley Christmas Bureau ended up helping the same number of families this year as last – about 800 – but the number of children helped grew to more than 1,700 (compared to about 1,650 last year).

“We have 160 new families that applied this year,” said bureau co-chair Leigh Castron.

Who uses the Langley Christmas Bureau?

“A lot of working poor,” Castron said. “We see a lot of that.”

“[There are] a lot of single dads,” she said, “and the majority are single moms.”

The Langley Christmas Bureau is the only bureau in the Lower Mainland that is entirely volunteer run. That has resulted in callers from as far as the North Shore all the way out to Chilliwack contacting the bureau to offer donations. Castron said people are encouraged to support their local bureaus but some people say they want to donate to Langley because it is all volunteer.

Castron said it’s the large group of volunteers who return year after year that makes the operation run smoothly.

“The dedication and consistency of our volunteers is just unreal,” she said. “And the community – we just couldn’t do it without the support.”

Children, adults, service clubs, arts groups, businesses and more support the bureau.

Castron noted that in addition to giving out gifts for families with children up to age 18, the bureau offers something unique.

The Langley Literacy Association provides books to the children.

“We’re the only Christmas bureau that has that,” Castron said.

The association has been providing books for several years and members attend Toy Depot Days when the gifts are picked up by parents. Association members work with the parents to choose books that would interest their children.

Other community supporters have been Cascades Casino which provides lunches for the volunteers while the bureau is open and Starbucks. The coffee company provides beverages and breakfast foods for the bureau for the month and a half that it’s in operation during the holiday season. The head of Starbucks western Canada, the head of Starbucks in B.C., and other senior management volunteered at Toy Depot Days this year.

Another sign of support for the Christmas bureau is the sponsorship where people, businesses or groups provide gifts and support for a specific family.

“We have more sponsors that ever,” Castron said.

This year 267 sponsors helped 479 families.

“That’s a record for us,” she added.

Just Posted

Half million dollars change Langley couple’s life

Richard and Frances Laidlaw contemplate travel and moving

Liberal hopeful aims to claim candidate spot in Langley-Aldergrove

Leon Jensen was the 2015 candidate in Langley-Aldergrove.

LETTER: Fort Langley driver lobbies for roundabout signalling

ICBC rules call for drivers to signal when exiting roundabouts.

South Langley community group wants to talk innovative housing

Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association invites people to a meeting about the future of housing.

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three-vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

Most Read