Get out your calendar, grab your pencil and mark down these dates to prepare for a busy month of fun activities that help support the Burnaby Christmas Bureau. From toy drives to a trip down memory lane, there's plenty to do to help out this season.
UP IN THE HEIGHTS
On Dec. 1, the Heights Merchant Association in North Burnaby will be celebrating the season with their annual Light up the Heights event. The event, which is slated to include an open-air holiday market, live music, kids activities, and more, runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at Heights Fountain Square (Hastings and MacDonald.)
The event is free, but organizers will be collecting donations of new and unwrapped toys for the bureau.
For more information, see www. burnabyheights.com/events.
AT THE VILLAGE
Later this month, fundraising will take a historical twist at the Burnaby Village Museum. The popular attraction, which is currently running its Heritage Christmas programming, will help collect funds for the bureau on Dec. 15, when it opens at night for the first time this season.
All the revenue from carousel tickets purchased from 4 to 9 p.m. that night will be donated to the bureau.
Heritage Christmas, which runs through the month, includes festive light displays, seasonal crafts, carol-ing, Father Christmas and more. For more, see www.burnabyvillagemu seum.ca.
AT THE HILTON
The Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society, along with Scotia Bank, is gearing up for their inaugural - and hopefully annual - toy drive and Christmas Angel breakfast this Friday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 9 a.m.
The event is taking place at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. Participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or a cash donation. A pancake breakfast will be held in the hotel's ballroom, but those who can't stay are welcome to simply drop off a contribution to waiting firefighter volunteers at the front of the hotel and then drive off with a boxed continental breakfast.
The society has lined up an impressive entertainment schedule, featuring Juno Award winner Jim Byrnes, 2011 B.C. Country Music female artist of the year AJ Woodsworth and the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service Band. As well, there will be a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
"The Hilton is very honoured to be participating in this inaugural event with Scotia Bank and the Burnaby firefighters," said Ed Jaskula with the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. "Burnaby is a strong and charitable community and we realize how important the success of the event is. We are humbled to be working with such generous corporations to create a memorable event that will continue for many years."
The Hilton is located at 6083 McKay Ave.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
? Financial donations: donate online at the bureau's website at www.burnabycommunityconnections.com; donate with credit card, by phone at 604-299-5778; drop off a cash or cheque donation at the bureau's new temporary location at Brentwood Town Centre, inside by the Sears mall entrance.
? Participate in the Angel Project: this is a toy drive program held by schools, community groups or local businesses. The bureau provides decorative angel-themed cards with the gender and age of a child written on each one, as well as posters that can be used to encourage participation. Individual participants then choose an angel, purchase a toy for the appropriate age and gender and bring the gift back to the organization for drop-off at the bureau's toy room.
? Sponsor a family: the Burnaby Christmas Bureau matches families with a group that provide them with a food hamper and gifts. These groups can include companies, religious groups, school groups, families, or individuals. The sponsor has direct contact with the family.
FIND THE BUREAU
? In person: Find the Christmas Bureau at Brentwood Town Centre this year, with a temporary office and toy room location near the Sears mall entrance. It's open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
? Online: See www.burnabycommunityconnections.com for more information, or follow the bureau on Twitter @ BurnabyConnect.
? By phone: Call 604-299-5778.