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.Read More›
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.Read More›
(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.Read More›
(2-Minute Read) By Meghan Franklin
Our 6th Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast is just around the corner, and we can’t wait! We have been excitedly preparing and planning for Friday, November 23rd. If you have never attended one of these events, you are in for a treat! Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast is a fun family friendly event that kicks off the Christmas season. Join us anytime from 6:00 am to 9:30 am at the Quality Hotel for a delicious hot breakfast, crafts, photo booth, a visit with Santa, live Christmas carols and local entertainment brought to us by Sevenoaks Shopping Centre. Everyone is invited to participate. All we ask is that you bring a new toy for any age or a monetary donation to the event to benefit the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau and Food Bank.Read More›
(3 minute read)
Claudia’s life has been full of challenges. At age 12 she was kicked out of her home in Mexico and lived on the streets for over a year before finding a welcoming family in a traveling circus. At the circus, Claudia did everything from selling popcorn and cleaning trailers to making costumes and juggling rings. During her time traveling with the circus she had her first son before eventually meeting a Canadian man who would become her husband.Read More›
(2 Minute Read)
This summer was very eventful for the Starfish Pack Program. We were able to offer Summer Starfish Packs to children and their families for the first time ever! Now heading into the fall, and the school year being in full swing, we have been able to expand even more. We are working towards our goal of increasing our numbers to 300 packs in Abbotsford, and are even in the works of expanding Starfish to high schools for the first time through a new pantry program!Read More›
By Meghan Franklin
We first met Noah two years ago when her story with us at the Abbotsford Food Bank’s free dental clinic began. As you may remember, Noah had grown up being bullied about her teeth, which drastically impacted her self-esteem. She went from having a carefree childhood, to worrying about hiding her smile from everyone around her. When Noah was in middle school she struggled with severe anxiety, which made going to school, interacting with peers or teachers, and having her photo taken extremely difficult. Noah knew that the root of what was causing this was her teeth, but she did not have access to any way to change this.Read More›
By Lucas Driediger
Big Things are in the Works!
From extending Starfish through the summer, to increasing the amount of children we support, there is a lot going on in the world of Starfish! Whether you are eager to fight poverty, or just want a feel good story, this blog is for you.Read More›
Another Christmas is wrapped up and we wanted to say thank you to all who helped make this year another success! Whether you gave in time, money, service or all the above, it made a difference and we are so thankful. We know that many of you do not give out of excess, but rather make sacrifices in order to make giving to the Christmas Bureau possible and we admire that so much. Watching the community surround us once again is an amazing experience. We are so grateful to be able to witness our community show such love to the families who come to us for help.Read More›
Updated: December 22, 2017
Every once in a while, we need to take a step back and remind ourselves of the good that is happening right under our noses. While the names have been changed to protect our guests, the stories are real. Real families, and real experiences. Their lives may be difficult, but they are made a lot better by our amazing community.
Here are a few of our favourite stories:
Each Christmas, Brenda and her daughter, Chrystie, organize gifts and food for more than a dozen families in Abbotsford. They do it to remember their kids, Coleton and Ryker, both of whom passed away on February 18th—Coleton in 2011, and Ryker in 2016.Read More›
The magical feeling of Christmas was hard to deny at this year’s Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast presented by Quality Hotel.
The sense of a supportive community was tangible. Today, we are overwhelmed with gratitude toward our community and the heartfelt involvement and generosity towards children in need. Special thanks to the donor who came forward to match every donation at the event!
Toys For Tots Christmas Breakfast is a fun family event that kicks off the Christmas season with the true spirit of the season – giving to children in need. On November 24th from 6 am – 9:30 am the community is invited to bring a new toy for any age or a monetary donation to the event. Stay for a delicious hot breakfast, craft, photo booth, a visit with Santa, live Christmas carols and local entertainment.Read More›
Here’s the inside scoop on our latest summer students experiences. Every summer we welcome local university students to experience life at the Abbotsford Food Bank through a government subsidy program. This year we had the pleasure of welcoming two summer students into our office. We had a great time getting to know them and were blessed by the energy they brought to the team and are excited to introduce you to them. Read more to find out how their expectations were met! Meet Lucas and Corinna.Read More›
By Rebecca Thuro
To start the satellite series off right, we are happy to introduce you to Chris. He oversees the Food Bank Satellite at Positive Living. Their programming serves over 200 people with HIV, Viral Hepatitis, TB and Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne Infections. They also have programs for the street entrenched population. Chris has the unique experience of being both a graduate of positive living and knowing the struggles faced by those juggling their sickness and living on a government disability cheque very personally.Read More›
(4 Minute Read)
By Rebecca Thuro
The question often gets asked: how does someone end up at the Abbotsford Food Bank? Well, it’s not necessarily a straight forward answer. From our experience, most people exhaust every conceivable safety net before ever entering our building.Read More›
Now that we are officially on the other side of the Holiday whirlwind, we find ourselves reflecting on and savoring each and every story that was graciously shared with us. The theme through the stories, it seems, is one of overwhelming gratitude and hope from both the giver and receiver. As an organization, we are so thankful to get this type of feedback. We are honoured to be able to see and hear how our neighbours came together to take care of those who are struggling—especially through the Christmas season.