CHEK’s annual Christmas Charity Drive-Thru and Telethon returns to help those in need

CHEK's annual Christmas Charity Drive-Thru and Telethon returns to help those in need
File Photo

Christmas displays are out in full force on Vancouver Island, but in all the buying, bright lights, and holiday colours, sometimes the season of giving gets forgotten.

“I sit on the board of a nonprofit and it’s a challenge getting funding. People just aren’t aware of how stressed our public is,” said a local.

For the second holiday season of this pandemic, the need across B.C. is much more than normal.

“We’ve had up to 200 per cent increase in some of the social service needs in parts of the region,” said Patricia Mamic, Salvation Army BC spokesperson.

That dramatic increase hadn’t been seen since the Second World War, but the pandemic brought on a whole new level of pressure.

Job loss and cost of living created a demand many charities have never seen before. The Salvation Army says many families who are struggling never thought they would be in this situation.

“There’s a lot of people who are experiencing challenges right now with their financial situation who may not have experienced this before in the past because of COVID,” said Mamic.

It’s why CHEK’s annual Christmas Charity Drive-Thru and Telethon is more important than ever.

This will be the 28th year for our charity drive, held live Friday, Dec 10 from 5 pm – 7 pm throughout the newscast.

In Victoria, the location is at the Salvation Army Citadel at 4030 Douglas Street. On the Westshore, in the Thrifty Foods Belmont parking lot and in Nanaimo at Steve Marshall Ford.

In the past “gently used” household items were accepted, but this year the request is for monetary donations, non-perishable food, and new toys.

“A lot of times we see teams coming through, or school groups coming through, or kids with their piggy banks and that really is supportive not only for us to provide food through Christmas but really all through the year,” said Mamic.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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