In the News

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Empty Stocking Fund: Grandparents, grandchildren helped by Surrey Christmas Bureau for first time November 28, 2020 “The Province” (click link above to read more) 

Two grandparents and their two grandchildren have been helped bySurrey Christmas Bureau, which helps around 2,000 families a year.

“Surrey Christmas Bureau Returns to Old Stardust Building for the holidays this year”  October 9, 2019, The Surrey Now Leader

It’s only early October but a small army of volunteers is already gearing up to make Christmas happen for thousands of children across Surrey.

This year, the Surrey Christmas Bureau is returning to the old Stardust building for the second year in a row. (click link above to read more)  

“Bring on the Balls drive launched by Surrey realty company months ahead of Christmas”  October 3, 2019, The Surrey Now Leader

Christmas is more than two months from now, but one Surrey realty company is already collecting items for donation to local teens.

Sutton Premier Realty’s playful “Bring on the Balls” campaign has bounced in for another year, in an effort to collect and then distribute balls – for soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball and other sports – to those in need.

The 2017, the first year of the campaign, more than 260 sports balls were delivered to Surrey Christmas Bureau for distribution, with a similar number donated last year. (click link above to read more)  

A Surrey family adds meaning to their Christmas by adopting a family in need and encourages others to do the same”  December 5, 2018, The Vancouver Province:

David Kunic still can remember the special Christmas when he was 11 years old, one of six children in a single-parent home in Abbotsford, when a family dropped off a Christmas hamper.

Kunic couldn’t recall the gift itself, but does remember the kindness of strangers at Christmas, when the family would have otherwise done without.

It was that memory that prompted Kunic and his wife Kassandra, now raising two kids of their own in Surrey, to sign up for the Adopt-A-Family program through the Surrey Christmas Bureau.  (click link above to read more)  

“Jewish Santa says the holiday jolly man transcends religion and ethnicities”  November 28, 2018, The Vancouver Sun:  Ben Cohen says playing Santa is his way of breaking down the walls erected by religious and ethnic differences. And he makes a point of greeting the children he meets during his Santa appearances in their own languages to help spread the message of acceptance and inclusivity. (click link above to read more) 

“Syrian teen who translates for Surrey Christmas Bureau enlists his brother”  November 22, 2018, The Province:

Khaled Alderwish last year was able to pay it forward by volunteering at the Surrey Christmas Bureau, which is partly funded by The Province Empty Stocking Fund, translating for Syrian families that needed the same kind of help.

The Surrey Christmas Bureau is one of the first places refugees to Canada like the Aldarwish family of Surrey are welcomed into the country, with gifts for the children and extra food and clothing.

Khaled, 14, and Hussein, 13, the family’s two eldest boys, remembered the experience when they arrived in Canada from war-torn Syria. They recalled how some kind Syrians who had arrived before them had translated for them so they could navigate the strange custom of Christmas in a foreign city. (click link above to read more) 

“The Province Empty Stocking Fund welcomes donations to help those in need”  November 16, 2018, The Province:

Hundreds of families have already signed up to get some help this year from the Surrey Christmas Bureau. The Empty Stocking Fund makes sure that help will be there.

Christmas may still be more than a month away, but for the last 10 days the Surrey Christmas Bureau has been busily signing up families who will need a little help this holiday season.

On the first three days of sign-ups, 560 local families had come in, said executive director Lisa Werring. (click link above to read more) 

“Surrey Christmas Bureau to Help Thousands This Holiday Season”  November 9, 2018, CKNW/Global News

Thousands of people will be reaching out for help from the Surrey Christmas Bureau this holiday season.

“We can hardly afford our basement suite that we’re renting, let alone anything better,” Bureau user Scott, who did not want his last name used, told CKNW.

Scott was lined up outside the Surrey Christmas Bureau, located in the old roller rink at Surrey Centre to register for gifts and a hamper.   (click link above to read more)

“Coats for Kids Campaign Underway”  November 7, 2018, The Province

Members of the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association have once again opened their doors as drop-off locations for people to donate new and lightly used coats and new toys in support of the Lower Mainland and Surrey Christmas bureaus.

The Coats for Kids campaign, which runs through to the end of the month, will have 56 drop-off locations across 14 municipalities, “making it easy to participate in this heartwarming event,” says a prepared news release from the GVHBA.

“We are always looking to provide clothing and toys for teens and preteens, noting grooming supplies, hair products and appliances are always popular with both the boys and the girls,” said Surrey Christmas Bureau executive director Lisa Werring.  (click link above to read more)

“Surrey Christmas Bureau Ready to Roll in Well Known Whalley Building”    October 19, 2018, Surrey Now Leader

Surrey Christmas Bureau is ready to roll in the former Stardust building in Whalley.

Usually at this time of year, the charitable organization is scrambling to find suitable space for its big Toy Depot.

Not this year.

“We are absolutely thrilled and so grateful to WestStone and CIBT for their generosity in donating this space as our 2018 Toy Depot,” Lisa Werring, the bureau’s executive director, said in a release Thursday (Oct. 18).   (click link above to read more)

“Two Surrey Charities Team Up for Christmas in July Fundraiser”  

The Surrey Christmas Bureau and Surrey Food Bank have joined forces to hold a “Christmas in July” fundraiser at Guildford Town Centre this weekend.

The two charities are planning a weekend of family friendly activities to the mall’s Centre Court on July 28 and 29, 2018.

“Guests will be able to get photos taken with ‘Summer Santa,’ marvel at the creations of a world class sand sculpture artist, learn to make their own sandcastle masterpiece, enjoy dancing, music and much more,” organizers say. (click link above to read more)

“Bring on the Balls” Campaign makes Surrey Christmas Bureau Bounce” 

Some local realtors had a ball gathering specific gifts for donation to Surrey Christmas Bureau, apparently.

Starting in early November, North Surrey-based Sutton Premier Realty led a campaign to collect balls — for soccer, basketball, volleyball, football and other sports – as gifts for teenagers registered with the Surrey charity, whose depot is located in Newton this year.

Surrey High School Transforms Into Santa’s Workshop

Combine piles of lumber, dozens of volunteers and hundreds of hours of work at Fraser Heights Secondary and you have a holiday toy-making factory.

It’s a factory that has been in operation for 15 years helping out the Surrey Christmas Bureau, an organization that distributes Christmas toys to kids in need.

Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary About to Turn into a Toy Shop

The materials have been ordered and prepped and next Monday, the woodworking room at Fraser Heights Secondary will turn into a toy shop, as it does every year.

Former Christmas Bureau Client Pays it forward and returns as a Sponsor

Kelly Ennis remembers the darkest time of her life: She and her husband were raising three boys, the youngest in diapers, when she suddenly found herself a single parent with no job and no money.

“My ex-husband left us and drained the bank account,” she recalled. “I was a stay-at-home mom with no education. I remembered thinking, ‘What was I going to do? How was I going to feed my children?’ And Christmas was coming.”

“Body Slams for Toys Wrestling Event will Benefit Surrey Christmas Bureau”

All Star Wrestling is presenting “Body Slams For Toys” on Friday, Dec. 15, a wrestling event that will benefit the Surrey Christmas Bureau.

“Come one, come all and let’s make a difference for the Surrey Christmas Bureau,” the event’s press release reads.

“Surrey Christmas Bureau Launches with Bike Give Away” 

The Surrey Christmas Bureau launched its 2017 season Wednesday by handing out donated bicycles to needy children.

Meet the Surrey Christmas Bureau’s latest star volunteer.   

Khaled Aldarwish is 13, but as a Syrian refugee has likely experienced much more than most people three times his age.

Surrey Christmas Bureau Welcomes New Leader

After longtime Surrey Christmas Bureau director KC Gilroy hung up her sleigh bells in June, another self-described “Christmas nut” has signed on to lead the charity.

“I have some big shoes to fill,” said new executive director Lisa Werring, who has spent much of her career in the non-profit sector, largely helping vulnerable children.

“The Kindness of Strangers”
“On Tuesday morning, about 40 people — couples, mothers, fathers and even a grandmother — stood in the cold outside the Surrey Christmas Bureau’s toy depot on 108th Avenue. They were waiting to take numbers so they could register before the Dec. 4 deadline for their families to receive food and gifts for the holidays.
“There are so many people that do it and I was hearing about lineups that were 80 people long by 6 a.m.,” said Katie Puckey, who was second in line and had been waiting since 5:30 a.m.” Click here to read the rest of the story in Indulge Magazine

“Empty Stocking Fund: Surrey folks line up in cold hoping to make Christmas better for their kids.” “There are families not far from you whose year-round struggles to make ends meet are compounded as the holiday season nears, and efforts to provide a little holiday happiness seem futile.
For single mother-of-three Shelley Grant, those difficulties are all too familiar.” Click here to read the rest of the story inThe Province Newspaper