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.
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.Read More›
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!Read More›
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.
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.Read More›
You are invited to our 7th Annual Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast! We can hardly believe that it’s sneaking up in less than a month! We’ve been excitedly preparing all the details for Friday morning, November 22nd between 6am-9:30am. Have you been to the event before? It’s the best way to kick off the Holiday season (if we do say so ourselves😊).Read More›
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›
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›
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.
Leading into the Christmas season, we found ourselves wondering – how is Christmas going to come together? Will there be enough? Did you have those same questions? So much needs to come together in time. Imagine having a shopping list to feed 524 families and 166 seniors!Read More›