XMAS GIVING: ‘If people want to give, give now’
There are just a few weeks left to collect food for food hampers to be delivered to 1,800 families in the Tri-Cities in time for Christmas.
Share Family and Community Services expects to provide food and toys to more than 2,200 children. To meet that need, its food bank will need 12,000 tins of canned fruit, canned fish and canned meat, 1,600 jars of peanut butter, 8,000 jars of tomato sauce and 8,000 packages of pasta plus hundreds of toys this year.
“If people want to give, give now,” says Heather Scott, director of fund development for Share.
Food that is collected in the next few weeks will help fill out hampers that have to last for three weeks instead of the usual two because the Tri-City food banks are closed Christmas week. But Scott said any food collected after the middle of December is still important because it goes to fill up the food bank shelves through to the summer.
There are many ways to help. The following activities and events are a great way to enjoy the holidays while helping Tri-City families:
• Until Dec. 22: Thrift-Opolis contest: Thrift-Opolis, an antiques and collectibles store in Port Coquitlam, is collecting food for Share’s Christmas hampers and challenging other businesses to do the same. Through Dec. 22, the store, located at D-2579 Lougheed Hwy. will give donors a chance to win a $150 store gift certificate for every item of food donated. To encourage giving more than once, there is no limit on the number of entries an individual can submit.
• Nov. 26: Wrestling with Hunger: Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling Club in Port Coquitlam will Wrestle with Hunger at Hyde Creek rec centre from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Grappling fans are encouraged to bring a food donation and ECCW will donate $2 from every ticket sold to the food bank. Tickets are $15 for the front row, $12 general admission and are available at eccw.com. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
• Nov. 28 to Dec. 24: Mr. Mike’s Toy Drive: Drop by Mr. Mike’s with a new, unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more and get a free appetizer.
• Dec. 2 to 24: Gift Wrap and Share Toy Tree at Coquitlam Centre: Drop by Coquitlam Centre during mall hours and have your gifts wrapped by donation at the Share Gift Wrap Booth located on the upper level between Aritzia and the Gap. that’s where you’ll also find the Share Toy Tree, where donations to Share’s Christmas programs are warmly received. To volunteer at the gift wrap and tree please contact Heather Stacey at 604-529-5107 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Dec 4: Jingle Bell Jog: Sign up now for the first annual Jingle Bell Jog (5 km) and Reindeer Run (1 km) starting at Coquitlam Centre. More than 200 runners will run from the mall around Lafarge Lake and back wearing red technical t-shirts and Santa hats they’ll receive as part of registration. The Reindeer Runners will run around Coquitlam Centre in their antlers and reindeer noses. There will be music, prizes and refreshments. Westwood Honda will be on site with vehicles and participants are encouraged to bring a food or toy donation to fill the Honda. Register for this fun family run at runnersden.ca.
• Dec. 2 to 17: Under the Christmas Tree: Table 23 comedy presents two Christmas improv shows at Second Storey Theatre in Port Coquitlam. They include a kids show (all ages), with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 and 17 only — a fun and interactive improvised Christmas show with stories, songs, and puppets. Tickets are $2 for children and $5 for adults. The second show, rated PG for adults, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.. from Dec. 2 to 17. A mix of improv comedy, music, videos and sketch, this show pokes fun at everything Christmas — from family gatherings to Santa’s Christmas day. Tickets are available at the door. Visit secondstoreytheatre.com for more information.
• Dec. 10 and 17: West Coast Express Santa Trains, co-sponsored by The Tri-City News, will be running to take shoppers to Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. Rail riders should bring an unwrapped toy and ride for free. Watch the West Cost Express website for scheduled times: www.westcoastexpress.com.
• Dec. 13: CKNW Food Bank Fill-up: Radio station CKNW will broadcast from Save-On Foods on Pinetree Way in Coquitlam from 3 to 7 p.m. Drop by Save-On with your food donation to help provide 1,800 Tri-City families with Christmas hampers.
• Dec. 17: Holiday Train Winter Festival: The annual CP Rail Holiday Train rolls in to Queen Street Plaza in Port Moody with John Valdy and Tracey Brown, two popular Canadian singers, to entertain. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with hot chocolate and chilli available by donation, plus carolers, an enormous bonfire and more. The Holiday Train will make its appearance at 5:45 p.m., so revellers are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the fun.