In the News

Find out more about us and the families we support through these videos and articles.

It’s just been phenomenal’: B.C. non-profits facing growing demand Isabella Zavarise, CTV News December 16, 2023

Some Metro Vancouver non-profits are seeing a surge in demand before the holidays that’s outpacing previous years.

Lisa Werring, the executive director of the Surrey Christmas Bureau, said the charity usually supports 2,000 families during this time of year.

This holiday season, she said, more than 2,300 families have asked for help.

Werring added she’s seeing many families reach out to the bureau who have never accessed its services before. (Click link above to read full article and see video)


Surrey Schools students & volunteers help Surrey Christmas Bureau grant holiday wishes December 14, 2023

Things around the Surrey Christmas Bureau are a lot merrier thanks to the efforts of students and volunteers from Surrey Schools.

Coming in the form of on-site volunteers and donated goods, the holiday help has become something the organization looks forward to each year, said Lisa Werring, executive director for the Surrey Christmas Bureau.

“It’s been so wonderful to work with Surrey Schools,” she said.

Extra hands are being provided by a Guildford Park Secondary humanities class, which started volunteering with the organization during the pandemic. (Click link above to read full article)


Grinch makes holiday delivery.  Global News December 12, 2023

He’s become an annual holiday tradition, the Crimestoppers Grinch warning people about porch pirates and other holiday ne’er-do-wells. But you’ll recall, the Grinch’s heart has grown three sizes, and as Emily Lazatin reports, he’s delivering a load of gifts to the Surrey Christmas Bureau. (Click link above to read full article and see video)


Empty Stocking Fund: A child of refugees, Jennifer Souvanvong has found a way to give back to Surrey Christmas Bureau. By Lou Kohlmann, Vancouver Province, December 7, 2023

As a child, Jennifer Souvanvong’s immigrant family discovered the magic of Christmas bureaus.  

“It was later in life that I remembered going somewhere and picking up gifts, and then all of a sudden, I don’t know what it was, I just thought, ‘Hey, was there a donation place we went to?’ ”

She decided to do something about it. She began by sponsoring a family through the Surrey Christmas Bureau. Another time she asked for donations to be sent to the bureau instead of getting gifts for her birthday, which falls in December. 

Then, a couple of years ago, she been organizing a toy drive at her office at Blue Pearl Mortgage. (Click link above to read full article)

Surrey charity offering Christmas cooking kits as families struggle with inflation Simon Little, Global News, Dec 6, 2023

As families grapple with food inflation, a Surrey, B.C., charity is rolling out a plan to help ensure families can share holiday meals.

The Surrey Christmas Bureau has partnered with SuperChefs to offer hundreds of cooking kits to families in need.

The kits include vouchers or Hello Fresh for ingredients for three meals for a family of four, along with a gingerbread house kit and directions.

“So hopefully the kids will wake up to a joy around the tree,” along with memories in the kitchen, SuperChefs founder Dr. Greg Chang said. (Click link above to read full article and see video)


Demand is up again this year at the Surrey Christmas Bureau (video from Janet Brown, Global News 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.

Surrey Christmas Bureau Expects “through the roof” demand at new site

November 9, 2023 by Tom Zillich, Surrey Now Leader

Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year for many, but not wonderful for some.

For many years Surrey residents going through tough times have depended on Surrey Christmas Bureau for help during the holidays, and a huge hub is set up in Whalley for another season.

This year the charitable organization’s “Toy Depot” is located in the former Canadian Tire building (13665 102 Ave.), thanks to a donation of retail space by Anthem Properties, developers of the adjacent Georgetown project. (Click link above to read full article)


“Feeling the pinch” Demand Up, donations down at Surrey Christmas Bureau

December 12, 2022 Global News

One of B.C.’s biggest Christmas charities is sounding the alarm about a surge in demand this holiday season, and not enough donations to meet it.

The Surrey Christmas Bureau typically serves about 2,000 families a year, helping ensure smiles and good memories on Christmas Day. (Click link above to read more and view video)


City of Surrey encourages residents to give back this season”

Dec 6, 2022 from The Indo Canadian Voice

The City of Surrey is encouraging residents to give back this season. Three trees have been decorated with donation boxes in the City Hall atrium to highlight three local charities: Surrey Christmas Bureau, Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society, and Surrey Food Bank.  (click link above to read more)   


The Province : Empty Stocking Fund  “Surrey Christmas Bureau Finds a Home”  

Dec 3, 2022 by Shawn Conner

The Surrey Christmas Bureau almost didn’t have a home this year.  Every year around the holidays, the charity helps up to 2,000 families with grocery gift cards and toys. That’s a lot of toys, and the group needs to put them somewhere.  (click link above to read more) 


“Terrifying Inflation Sees Demand Surge at Surrey Christmas Bureau’s Toy Depot in Whalley”

Nov 25, 2022 by Tom Zillich for the Surrey Now Leader

With grocery bills soaring out of control, Surrey Christmas Bureau is seeing a rush of requests for help this holiday season.

Rising inflation has led to an increase in registration numbers at the organization’s Toy Depot/warehouse, located at the former Safeway store in Whalley, at King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue. (click link above to read more)

“Surrey Christmas Bureau Finds a Warehouse: It’s a Christmas Miracle!”

November 12, 2022 by Anna Burns for the Surrey Now Leader

It’s an early Christmas miracle!

Surrey Christmas Bureau has found a warehouse for their seasonal toy depot. They will share warehouse space with Fraser Health in the former Whalley Safeway store, 10355 King George Blvd., where they set up last year.”  (click link above to read more)

Global News, November 11, 2022:  “Surrey Christmas Bureau finds space for Toy Depot:

(Click link for full story)

Global News, October 4, 2022:  “Surrey Christmas Bureau Needs Angel to Provide Space for Toy Depot

(Click link for full story)

CBC News Friday September 30, 2022:   Christmas charity’s struggle to find depot space highlights growing challenges faced by non-profits

(click text for full story & video)

Global Weekend Morning appearance “SCB Appeals for Toy Depot Space Saturday, September 24, 2022: 

Early Christmas Miracle Needed by Surrey Charity desperate for Toy Depot space” 

Sept 28, 2022 by Tom Zillich for the Surrey Now Leader

“Surrey Christmas Bureau is feeling the commercial space crunch in the city.

The charitable organization is searching for a place to house its yearly Toy Depot this fall, without luck so far.

Last year’s depot site, the former Safeway store in Whalley, isn’t available to the Christmas Bureau this year.”  (click link above to read more)

“Mountain of LEGO donated to Surrey Christmas Bureau by local club”

Dec 13, 2021 by Tom Zillich for the Surrey Now Leader

“A small mountain of LEGO was donated to Surrey Christmas Bureau with the help of one avid builder of the plastic bricks.

Andrew Delbaere has created some familiar Surrey buildings with LEGO, including Guildford Town Centre.

“I have a LEGO room at my house which contains a city I’ve been working on for years that features a Central City Brewery-inspired brewery,” explained Delbaere. “I also have a 20-square-foot hockey arena that seats over 900 LEGO figures.” (click link above to read more)

The Gift of Giving:  How Local Charities are Helping People and Families this Holiday Season” 

Dec 7, 2021 By Abby Luciano for The Runner (The Runner is student owned and operated by Kwantlen Polytechnic University students, published under Polytechnic Ink Publishing Society (PIPS).)

“Christmas is the time of year when many people have time off work, enjoy opening presents under a lit-up, decorated tree, and come together to enjoy a feast with family and friends. However, behind closed doors, Christmas is a sad season for those impacted by poverty, and for many the pandemic has heightened this problem.” (click link above to read more)

“Surrey Christmas Bureau Executive Director says it is going to be a record year”

December 4, 2021 by Lauren Collins for the Surrey Now Leader

“The Surrey Christmas Bureau has moved into a new location that the executive director says is “the best space we’ve ever had.”

Lisa Werring said the Christmas bureau moved into the former Whalley Safeway in November, after online registration opened in October. The space was donated by “Santa’s helpers,” Sobeys and Crombie Property Holdings Ltd.” (click link above to read more)

Burnaby Mother Seeks to Adopt a Grandmother at Christmas to Honor Mother’s Memory:  

November 21, 2021  :

“A Burnaby family wanted to help out a very specific family this Christmastime, one who had gone through some tough times.


“We have had a lot of loss in our family and now we’re in a position to give back,” said Carrie Ann Louis.

Holiday Charity Work in Canada a Challenge For Fundraisers and Donors During Pandemic:

December 13, 2020 “The lack of events is hitting local Christmas Bureaus hard.

“There is no tree-lighting ceremony. There’s no [Santa Claus] parade. Those are often fundraising opportunities for us,” said Surrey Christmas Bureau executive director Lisa Werring.

“There’s no third-party events being held. Toy drives have been very challenging. So it’s been quite impactful on our financial bottom line.”

Toys Toys Toys:  November 23, 2020, “Peace Arch News”:

While the holiday season got off to a rocky start for the Surrey Christmas Bureau, the magic is now alive and well inside the walls of their new home.

A new toy depot site was secured in October after it was discovered thieves had destroyed the old Stardust building they previously operating out of along City Parkway. (click link above to read more)

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.

Video Links: