Stories from the Change Makers

Did you know that if you live in Abbotsford, you are living in a place that is considered one of the most generous communities in Canada? We can certainly testify to the fact that our community rallies around those in need and has the heart to see lives changed.

We would like to introduce you to some of the friendly faces of Abbotsford. They are your neighbours who know the joy of giving in Abbotsford.

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Abby Toys for Tots – Incredible Response

Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast presented by Quality Hotel, has once again, left us feeling overwhelmed with gratitude toward our community. We have been blown away by our community’s heartfelt involvement and generosity towards children in need. Together we raised a record of 1,600 toys and over $32,000 in financial support.  The morning included spirited Christmas Music, a visit from Santa, delicious breakfast buffet, a festive craft corner, photo booth magic and an enchanted visit from princesses. One mother said – “I love bringing my kids to this event! The best part is letting them pick out a gift for another child. It’s great way to kick off the season. The princesses were a big hit in our family too.”- Sarah

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Ways to Help This Christmas

 

Christmas preparations are now in high gear here at the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau, and have been for many months. If Santa’s Workshop were a real place, we’d imagine it to look a lot like this. Gifts are flooding our doors, shelves are being stocked, and there’s a level of nervous excitement that doesn’t come around any other time of the year.

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Back to School

back2school-in-backapckHeading back to school can be a total mix of emotions.

Do you remember heading back to school as a kid?  Do you remember the total mix of emotions that came with it? I certainly do. I remember the anticipation of attending a new class, the excitement of seeing school friends again, and the pride in showing off my first day of school outfit. I even remember the forgotten smell of the early morning air during the crisp walk to school. And while my family didn’t necessarily have the best of everything, I always knew that I was taken care of and that my lunch box was full.

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How Sports Changed My Life

We couldn’t do what we do without passion and you!

We like to brag about the staff at the Abbotsford Food Bank .Yes, we are working on our humility, but it’s true—we have some pretty amazing people working here. Not only are they skilled, but they have a huge heart for what we do.

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Everest – A Journey in Relationship

Community begins with relationships.

everst-circle2Sadly, many people that pass through our doors find themselves unable to rise above their circumstances largely due to the fact that they don’t have the relationships and connections to help bring them there.

Recently we started a pilot project called ‘Everest’ which aim’s at this exact disparity.

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Christmas Bureau – A story of Hope

Each year the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau lets you, our valuable supporters, know what our needs are financially. This year we need to raise $850,000 by year’s end to keep helping people in need in Abbotsford. A very helpful envelope should be arriving to your door this week.  We want everyone to know about the good work that is happening in our community through the Abbotsford Food Bank & Christmas Bureau.

who-do-we-help

 

Let us introduce you to Laurel

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Ramada’s Toys for Tots 2015 – Best Yet!

Best-one-yetThe 3rd Annual Ramada’s Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast is receiving rave reviews and we couldn’t be more thankful!

A record 1,300 people attended, more than $26,000 raised and receiving over 1,300 toys. 

The morning included spirited Christmas Music, a visit from Santa, a top notch breakfast buffet, story time with Clifford the Elf, a festive craft corner and a photo booth to capture the magic of celebrating together.  One mother said – “This year’s Toys for tots was the best one yet! Staff were so helpful in getting us a table and the kids loved the story time and crafts.” – Heidi

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Ramada’s 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast

The Abbotsford Food Bank is excited to announce the return of a new-found Christmas tradition, the 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast presented by the Ramada Plaza & Conference Centre and Envision Financial, on November 27th from 6am – 9:30 am.

blog-post-infoThe public is once again invited to drop by with a new toy or monetary donation and stay for the free buffet breakfast, kids’ activities, and fantastic live local entertainment.  Once again the event falls on an Abbotsford School District Pro D day, parents love bringing their children.  The event is a great opportunity to talk about the true spirit of Christmas with our children.  It’s better to give than receive!
For those who don’t have time to come in, there will be a drive-thru in the parking lot to drop off donations and enjoy a free coffee and pastry.

All proceeds will benefit the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau and the more than 1,200 children they expect to help this winter. “With the community’s support,” said the Food Bank’s Director, Dave Murray, “we are able to do some pretty amazing things. But this—giving families a Christmas to remember—has got to be my favourite. There’s nothing else like it.”

On November 27th, come be a part of something special. For more information, visit:

toy-for-tot-christmas-breakfast

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UBC Dental Student Blitz!

We are so delighted when we see students give with their time and their heart. Have you heard about our Free Dental clinic?  Our on-site dental facility works with generous volunteer dentists, hygienists and dental assistants that share their needed services with low income households through the Abbotsford Food Bank. To help meet the growing need 12 UBC Dental students and 2 instructors came for a 1 day dental blitz. We always have fun when the UBC students arrive!

Helped 9 patients in 8 hours and

completed $2780 worth of dental work

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Starfish Packs Earn 2nd International Recognition

Photo credit: Bob Knight
Rotary District 5050 Governor Lyle Ryan presents the Outstanding Community Service Award to Abbotsford Rotary Club President Hugh Ellis and club members

The Starfish Pack Program, a joint project between the Abbotsford Food Bank and the Abbotsford Rotary Club, received its second international recognition over the past weekend.

During the annual Rotary 5050 District Conference, held in Tulalip, WA, the Starfish Pack program was presented with McLean Community Service Award, recognizing it as the most outstanding community service project in the Rotary 5050 District.  Rotary District 5050 covers 58 Rotary clubs located in both British Columbia and Washington State, in communities from Hope BC to Everett, WA.

Starfish Packs provides weekly backpacks containing six meals each weekend to over 260 elementary school students in 22 Abbotsford schools during the school year.  The Program also recently launched its first “Starfish Depot” which will provide food and other resources to school children and their families year round.  In its first two years of operation, the program has brought together over 40 local businesses, service clubs, faith groups and hundreds of individuals to fund and deliver the program.

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Toys for tots Raises More!

Our hearts are full of gratitude for everyone that came out to the 2nd Annual, Ramada’s Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast!  The event was a great success!  An estimated 800 people attended, raising  $14,000 in financial donations and over 1,100 toys were collected at the event..  The success of this event would not have been possible without the investment from our community.  We would like to thank first and foremost, Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre for their desire to create a wonderful event.  The conference centre was beautifully decorated, the food was amazing, and your volunteer staff was so friendly and helpful.

Thank you to Envision Financial for your investment in our community through the Full Cupboard program.  Your enthusiastic support and promotion of the event was invaluable. Your volunteers were so willing to lend a hand, they even stood in the pouring rain without complaint!

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Ramada’s 2nd Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast

Ramada’s Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast

We are one week away! Ramada’s 2nd Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast is fast approaching.  November 28 from 6AM to 9:30AM is when the magic happens. Every item you donate shares the joy of Christmas and gives a child hope this holiday. This is the one Christmas event you do not want to miss! Bring a toy or $ donation and enjoy a free Buffet Breakfast. Don’t have time to stay? We thought of you! Drive by with your donation and receive a Tim Horton’s coffee & treat.

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