Connecting during Christmas

Connecting During a COVID Christmas

by Tracy Rahn (Christmas Bureau Coordinator) and Rebecca Thuro

If there is one thing that connects us all as human beings, it’s the deep desire to be seen. To be known. To feel that we belong. It is, in the simplest terms, the need for connection – this has been especially highlighted in a year where isolation is necessary. I (Tracy Rahn) experienced some of the most profound moments of connection, of empathy and understanding at this year’s Christmas Bureau. I found it peeking out from behind masked faces, passing sets of eyes that we sometimes may not even recognize as our neighbour or old acquaintance.

 

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Tammy’s Story

by Lucas Driediger

I was first introduced to Tammy earlier this Fall. Although she had used the Food Bank off and on in the past, the pandemic and changed things. With some newly diagnosed health issues, contracting any new sickness has created new challenges.

Thankfully, the combination of her positive attitude, strong demeanor, and community support have helped her get by in this time.

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Lifelong Impact Header

Life Long Impact of One Christmas

In dark times like these, it’s stories of hope that lift our spirits. We’d like to introduce you to Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw (Emily Henry) a current board member at Archway Community Services. She is a Néhiyaw (Cree) person, originally from Ochapowace Band, Saskatchewan and she shares a personal story of how the compassion of strangers made a lifelong impact at Christmas when she was a child.

Her story is one of hope and how its effects can ripple through time.

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Toys for Tots Response

Toys For Tots Response

From the beginning of the planning process to the eventual cancellation of Toys for Tots Drive Thru, nothing could have prepared us for this year. Planning an event during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart! Knowing that the event was a huge driving force in making Christmas possible for 1,500 children was all the motivation we needed to continue to adjust the plans as guidelines changed. It was this fact that united the volunteers, sponsors, partners, and community.

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Toys for Tots Drive Thru 2020

Toys for Tots Christmas Drive Thru 2020

We are so thankful to be able to continue the tradition of kicking off the Holiday season in the true spirit of Christmas at the re-imagined Toys for Tots Drive-Thru – hosted by Clarion Hotel (formerly Quality Hotel) on November 27th from 7:00 am-10:00 am. No one could have predicted how different this year would be. That’s why the return of sponsors, partners and community support and means so much more!  

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Reflecting on December

by Rebecca Thuro
(3 minute read)

Every year we enter the Christmas season with some loose ends that need a touch of the miraculous. This year we needed a building to host the Christmas Bureau toy room and a way to raise $1.2 million by December 31st. Feeding 3,300 people doesn’t get easier at Christmas. It requires even more engagement from our community. And that is just what we found.

 

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Toys for Tots Wrap Up

7th Toys for Tots Wrap Up

The 7th year of Quality Hotel’s Christmas Breakfast was another wonderful year of seeing the community respond with care for children in need at Christmas. We are happy to announce that together we raised over $42,200 and 1,786 toys for the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau. During the event this year, I came upon one person who had tears in their eyes saying, “I can hardly believe how many people woke up this early to make a difference for a child at Christmas, I’m tearing up.” The Christmas spirit was strong, the joy in the faces of the attendees was evident.

 

 

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Christmas Bureau is Here to Help

by Candace Stock
(3 minute read)

It’s that time of year – wreathes and lights are going up, presents are being bought, families are planning their gatherings. Unfortunately for some, this time of year can be filled with fear of survival of the holiday. When the stress of being able to put food on the table already exists, gifts under the tree seem out of reach. Thankfully, with the help of our community, we are able to change that for many families.

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2018 Christmas Wrap Up

Wow, another successful year! We define success, in large part, by the stories of gratitude that have been shared with us by both those who have been helped and those who have been able to extend help this Christmas. And guess what, we have SO MANY STORIES this year. Each year we face different challenges to make the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau a reality. This year was no different, from the loss of a distribution location to medical emergencies – the start of this season was a little shaky.

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Help Make this Christmas Memorable

Christmas is a season full of hope, joy and wonder. It represents time spent with family, friends and the opportunity to spoil those we love the most. But for many in our community, it can also be difficult – especially if you have trouble putting food on the table. Thankfully, a gift to the Abbotsford Food Bank & Christmas Bureau can change that.

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Record Breaking Year

(7 min read)
By Rebecca Thuro

The magical feeling of Christmas was tangible during the 2018 Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast. As the event organizer, each year during the planning process I have the little voice that says “what if there isn’t enough this year”. I’d imagine this is the question many hold in their hearts as they enter the holiday season. For families that use the Christmas Bureau not having enough isn’t just a fear, it’s a reality. Thankfully, I am so happy to announce that because of the big heartedness of our community we will once again be able to fully support each family that needs to turn to the Christmas Bureau.

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