The community is stepping up to help a Surrey charity that helps make sure Christmas feels like magic to families in need.
The Surrey Christmas Bureau serves about 2,000 families every year, including more than 4,500 kids. The charity collects toys, gifts, and gift cards to make sure there are presents under the tree and meals on the table for their clients.
Around 6:20 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Surrey RCMP says someone broke into their headquarters and made off with six laptops, several drones and about $6,000 worth of gift cards.
But people have already stepped in to help, including a longtime CKNW Kids Fund donor, Blake Elliott, who offered a $10,000 donation — giant novelty cheque and all — from his mister Blake Foundation Wednesday afternoon.
“I was very touched by when I heard this morning, I thought it was terrible,” said Elliott.
“I know what it’s been like to be down and out myself and in younger years and going without. So I have a bit of an idea. Also working for the Ministry of Children Family Services for 20 years, I met many situations that there was a great need out there every year, and I guess every day.”
Surrey Christmas Bureau executive director Lisa Werring said she was “flabbergasted” by the offer.
“I just can’t get over your generosity. That’s amazing,” she said.
Following the mister Blake donation, other groups were quick to step up.
London Drugs and Guildford Centre each have offered $6,000 in gift cards to the Surrey Christmas Bureau.
Earlier Wednesday, Werring had issued an appeal for help to make up the loss, which comes just two weeks before Christmas.
“We always struggle with gifts for teens in the first place. So this is doubly devastating for us,” she said.
“You know, many donors come in and they provide us with general mall gift cards or movie passes or gift cards to places like Walmart or Best Buy or retailers like that. That seems like shopping. And those are what we we have for teenage presents. And those were all gone.”
The Surrey Christmas Bureau is still accepting donations to try and make Christmas a little brighter for community members in need.
The organization’s Toy Depot is located at 10240 City Parkway.
“We’re hoping by the end of today it is more like the ending of It’s a Wonderful Life than The Grinch That Stole Christmas, and that we can have an outpouring of support from the community,” said Werring.