CHEK Upside: Real life Elf on the Shelf raising funds for families in need

CHEK Upside: Real life Elf on the Shelf raising funds for families in need
WatchMike Mckinstry has dressed up as an elf to raise money for local families in need around the holidays for the last three years.

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At first glance, Mike Mckinstry is your average Victoria dad, but with a quick wardrobe change, he becomes Blelf Onashelf.

“Almost like an adult version of elf on a shelf,” smiles Mckinstry. “I’ve been on a car, I’ve been on a boat, I’ve been on a lot of things.”

Mckinstry first started taking pictures dressed as Blelf, which stands for Bad Little Elf, three years ago following a late night brainstorming session about a holiday fundraiser.

“I was at a friend’s place and we were having a couple of beers one Friday night and we were kind of spitballing some ideas and that’s what we came up with,” says Mckinstry.

“It’s Christmas time, people need more things to smile about in life and Christmas time is a tough time for everybody especially this year with everything that’s going on so I thought let’s do something different.”

Blelf has been all over the South Island and even made a stop at CHEK last year. But this year COVID is keeping him closer to home.

“I’ve started posting some of my old pictures just to review what Blelf was all about the last couple of years and I’ve taken a couple of pictures with people’s pets this year and they’ve donated money,” says Mckinstry.

This year alone he has already raised over $3,000 and expects more donations to roll in, with the money going towards families in need and local food banks.

“We’re going to buy a bunch of gift cards and get them distributed out to people throughout Greater Victoria that can use the help,” says Mckinstry.

To donate to Mike’s fundraiser, send a Facebook friend request and message to Blelf Onashelf.


Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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