Businesses step up for CHEK Christmas Drive Thru

WatchDonations pour in for the 26th annual CHEK Christmas charity drive-thru and businesses are also taking up the challenge. Tess van Straaten reports.

They’ve been baking up a storm at Victoria’s Ross Place Retirement Residence.

“It’s important for us to give back to the community,” says Kevin Smith, Ross Place Retirement Residence’s food and beverage manager. “At Ross Place, we’re about community. It’s a big thing for us.”

Smith and his staff baked for five days straight to sell goodies at the Pearkes Craft Fair to raise money for the CHEK Christmas charity drive this Friday.

“We’re neighbours with CHEK 6 here and we wanted to find a way to get involved and give back to the community so we came up with this idea three years ago,” says Ronnie Birkland of Ross Place Retirement Residence.

They’ve raised $2,000 this year — almost $7,000 total in the last three years — and it’s a family affair.

“My family’s involved and we go out and buy the gifts, showing my children that giving back to the community is so important,” Smith says.

They’re also getting residents involved — bringing some along to shop for food, clothes and toys and bringing a bus-load through on drive-thru night.

“I think it’s a great idea,” says Ross Place resident John McDonald. “Communities matter. Not everybody has the same opportunities and if we can spread it around a little bit, I think that helps.”

“I was a receiver many years ago as a single mom so this to me is a great opportunity and this place is filled with such generous people,” adds resident Judith Hodgson.

Ross Place is just one of many businesses that get involved with the CHEK Christmas Drive Thru every year, to help raise money for the Salvation Army.

And now, the Salvation Army is putting out the challenge to all businesses on Vancouver Island to get involved.

“You can get your business or sports team together and pitch in,” says the Salvation Army’s Patricia Mamic. “For example, realtors can bring gingerbread houses because that’s something that brings joy to families and this time of year they may not have treats like that and a hockey team could bring hockey sticks.”

Back at Ross Place, they just hope they can inspire others.

“It doesn’t take much to put a little bit together, get your staff together, your family together, make it a big event and it goes a long, long way,” says Birkland.

Donations of toys, clothing, household goods, non-perishable food items and cash or cheques can be dropped off the CHEK studios at 780 Kings Road in Victoria this week between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The 26th annual CHEK Christmas Charity Drive-Thru is this Friday, December 6th, from 5- 7 p.m. in the CHEK parking lot on Hill Street, off Blanshard.

There are also two additional drop off locations.

On the West Shore, you can go to the Belmont Market Thrifty Foods and on the mid-Island, you can go to Steve Marshall Ford in Nanaimo.

READ MORE: 26th annual CHEK Christmas charity drive-thru is this Friday!

You can also call in a phone pledge to 1-888-851-4290 during our broadcast on Friday.


Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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