Demand is high at Surrey Christmas Bureau as holiday season approaches

Click to play video: 'Demand up again this year at Surrey Christmas Bureau'
Demand up again this year at Surrey Christmas Bureau
The Surrey Christmas Bureau has opened its doors to people who need help this holiday season. As Janet Brown reports, the bureau says demand is up again, and it already knows it's going to need more donations of toys and cash to keep up – Nov 22, 2023

It’s that time of year when the Surrey Christmas Bureau opens its doors to those in need during the holiday season.

The B.C. charity’s staff said demand for its services is high, as some community members continue to rely on the bureau for something to have under the tree for their children.

Yessica Hurtado came to Canada from Colombia just over a year ago with her two young children and without the help of the Surrey Christmas Bureau, she said there would no Christmas for her family.

“It gives me the opportunity to see my kids be happy and healthy because sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to provide for them,” she told Global News.

The charity organization said it is expecting a heavy demand for its services this year, as more than 2,000 families have already registered for toys and grocery vouchers.

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“Inflationary pressures that we’re all seeing is having an impact. Rents are high. Paycheques aren’t keeping up with the cost of living,” Lisa Werring said, Surrey Christmas Bureau’s executive director.

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With the demand being up, Werring said the bureau would not be able to operate without its valuable volunteer team, who put in roughly 12,000 hours of work over the holiday season. That includes some Grade 11 students from Guildford Park Secondary who were at the bureau on Wednesday. They are volunteering over the next two days.

Werring said the charity needs more toys and financial donations from the community for the holidays.

“The last thing I want to see is a family come in, see almost empty shelves and think they’re getting the last thing on the shelf,” Werring said.

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While Hurtado was at the charity facility, she was able to get presents for her children, securing a very merry Christmas morning for her two young kids.

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