This is a tough time of year for those living on the streets or struggling to make ends meet.
“We have people coming in every day asking for blankets and warm winter coats,” says Patricia Mamic of the Salvation Army.
Emergency shelters had to be set up last week in Victoria as the temperature dipped below freezing.
But it’s not just the homeless in need of help.
More and more working families are also struggling.
“There’s a lot of people out there, a lot of families you don’t see, a lot of kids who are hungry,” Mamic explains. “There’s a lot of people who have to choose between buying a gift for their children and paying the utility bill.”
It’s why CHEK holds a Christmas charity drive every year in support of the Salvation Army.
“I think it’s important for all of us to give back,” says CHEK general manager Rob Germain. “Any one of us could find ourselves in circumstances where we need a helping hand so if we’re able to give back, we should.”
Over the past 25 years, thousands of kilograms of food, toys, clothing and household goods have been collected at the CHEK charity drive-thru — along with cash and gift card donations to make the holiday season a little brighter for those in need.
“This is our 26th year, “Germain says. “I’ve been involved personally for 24 years and it never ceases to amaze me how generous our viewers are.”
On Friday, December 6th, we’ll be collecting items in the CHEK parking lot, which is on Hill Street just off Blanshard by the Hillside Boston Pizza, between 5 – 7 p.m. during our live broadcast.
There will also be two additional drop-off spots this year.
On the West Shore, you can go to Thrifty Foods Belmont Market.
Viewers on the mid-Island can go to Steve Marshall Ford in Nanaimo.
You can also drop off items and cash or cheque donations at our CHEK studios this week between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There’s also a pledge line for people to phone in donations or text a donation during Friday’s charity drive.
All of the donations — big or small — will help make a difference, not just this month but throughout the year.
“This household item you bring in can be transformed into putting a child through summer camp because it goes to our thrift stores,” explains Mamic.