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›
(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›
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›
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›
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›
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.”- SarahRead More›
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.Read More›
Heading 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.Read More›
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.