Christmas is a time for giving – and also a time for giving back to those in need. With the added impacts of the pandemic, many families are struggling to make ends meet, which may mean empty stockings and no gifts under the tree. Now more than ever, families need to come together and enjoy the magic of the holidays, and some may need a little help to make the magic happen.
There are many adopt-a-family programs found in and around the Lower Mainland that can connect you with families in need. Here are just six of those programs to check out.
Surrey Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family Program
The Surrey Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family (“AAF”) initiative pairs individuals, businesses, and other organizations with a family in need, in hopes of providing every family and child in the Surrey area with a happy holiday season. As an AAF sponsor you are asked to provide a Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as gifts for the child(ren) of the sponsor family.
YWCA Presents of Peace
Through the YWCA Presents of Peace program you can adopt a family by providing grocery gift cards, and gifts for each family member. How much you provide is up to you. The process begins with creating your personal profile, and then choosing the family type/size of your choice. From Strive Youth – a program that supports youth in and from care transitioning to independence, to a single parent with one child, to a larger family of 5, you can choose the budget that works for you.
Covenant House Christmas Backpack Program
The Covenant House Christmas Backpack Program focuses on providing for youth experiencing homelessness . Through this program, youth in need will receive special treats for Advent and a backpack full of brand-new gifts for Christmas. From coffee gift cards to donating to meals and special programs, there are various ways to give back depending on your budget.
Burnaby Christmas Bureau
Through the Burnaby Christmas Bureau there are several ways that you can give back to families, children, at-risk individuals, and seniors with low income who need a little extra help this holiday season. Volunteer your time, host a corporate toy drive, or simply choose an item on the Christmas Bureau Wish List and bring it to one of the donation locations listed on their site.
Family Services North Shore Christmas Bureau
The Family Services North Shore Christmas Bureau ensures that low-income families, individuals, and seniors living in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Lions Bay, and on Bowen Island can celebrate the holidays. This volunteer-run program has two components: The Toy Shop – where volunteers put together toy packages for families in need, and Holiday gift baskets – filled with grocery gift cards, wrapped presents for each family member, personal care necessities (such as toothpaste and soap), and other festive items which are generously provided by sponsors who are matched with qualified families, individuals, and seniors.
Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau
Through the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau you can easily give a gift to a child in need by donating funds through the website. This empowers families in need to create Christmas experiences for their kids through the generosity of their local community. Since 1930 this organization has donated to make a difference in the lives of Lower Mainland families.