With the cost of living continuing to rise, the Burnaby Christmas Bureau will be needed more than ever this year.
And the folks from Burnaby Community Services are already hard at work to ensure low-income families, seniors and “unique individuals” (people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless) in the community get a little help for the holidays.
The bureau has once again opened its storefront in the Brentwood Town Centre mall (on the lower floor in the former Brentwood Bridal location) and is accepting both donations and applications from those wanting help.
John Wong, fund development officer with BCS, said Christmas can be a difficult time for low-income families struggling to put presents under the tree. So that’s where the bureau steps in, providing toys and other items.
“It does provide a bit of Christmas cheer to those in need in the community,” he said.
The Christmas bureau helped more than 3,500 people last year and expects demand to increase this year, Wong said.
Donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts can be dropped off at any fire hall or the bureau’s Brentwood toy room between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Dec. 9. Wong said there is a particular need for pyjamas of all sizes, as the bureau tries to give a set to everyone it helps.
You can also donate money online at bbyservices.ca/donate.php.
Low-income families with children 16 or younger and low-income seniors can register at the toy room. You can find information about eligibility at bbyservices.ca/programs-christmasbureau.php