Knowing that there is a spirit of benevolence and generosity operating in our community goes a long way to helping us love our home town that much more—regardless of whether it’s the holiday season or not! All of us on the West Shore can be proud of the local efforts being made to help others manage and enjoy this year’s holiday festivities. Here are just a few examples:
Westshore Chamber of Commerce
- ‘Holiday at Hatley Castle’ raised $349 for the PCFSA’s ‘Holiday Hampers’ program.
- ‘Viva La WestShore’ donated $1,300 to PCFSA’s Youth at Risk program–of which $500 was a cheque from Chamber member Sparta Finance.
- Victoria HarbourCats donated 100 Exhibition Game tickets that the Chamber sold to its members, raising $500 for Langford Minor Fastball.
- In partnership with the Rotary Club of the West Shore, the 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off and WestShore Showcase raised over $4,000 for Rotary projects.
- ‘Best of the WestShore Awards’ Gala raised $455 for Islands Savings ‘Full Cupboard’ Program, benefitting the Goldstream Food Bank.
Coast Community Credit Union
At Coastal Community, they believe in making meaningful and visible differences to the communities we serve. This holiday season, their Greater Victoria Region locations will be giving back by sponsoring the BC Cancer Foundation’s Jingle Mingle. They also have an employee donation program called ‘Fundraising Fridays’ where their employees are able to donate $1 each week in support of various charitable groups. During the holiday season, they have chosen to donate to food banks across the islands to help those in need. And don’t forget their branches are a drop off point for ‘The ShoeBox Project’!
So, far in 2018, 29 island groups received $18,842 YTD from their employee ‘Fundraising Fridays’ program alone. In addition, 228 CCCU employees volunteered 3,904 hours to 261 different organizations this year across Vancouver Island.
Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore
Every year, the Soroptimists in the West Shore create Christmas Hampers for 3 of the shoppers at Anney’s Closet Free Store, drawn by chance from the current year’s list of shoppers. They collect non-perishable foods, gift cards, and lots of fresh foods to make the holidays happier for these families. They ask for their wish lists and have fun fulfilling as much as they can! If you would like to help them with non-perishable foods and/or gift cards, drop by Sands Funeral Chapel, 317 Goldstream Avenue with your donation.
TELUS is coming together this holiday season to support families in need at Margaret Laurence House with gifts and donations. Margaret Laurence House is a community-based second stage program for women who are leaving an abusive intimate relationship and who have their children in their care at least 50 per cent of the time. MLH provides housing, support, counselling and advocacy. TELUS is collecting donations internally and will be providing the gifts to the families in time for Christmas. This is a strong part of TELUS supporting local initiatives as part of the ‘Give Where We Live Campaign’. To see more about the campaigns TELUS supports in the community please visit community.telus.com!
Langford Fire Rescue
Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been the main beneficiary of Langford Fire Rescue’s fundraisers since the 1970s.
- or the holiday season, firefighters provide hot dogs and hot chocolate before and during the Christmas light
up and food drive at Veterans Park.
- The firefighters move hampers to people’s vehicles and help fill the shelves at the Goldstream Foodbank
from 10am-2pm on December 18.
- On Christmas Eve, look out for their firetrucks travelling with Santa around the community spreading joy, handing out candy canes and collecting food for the Santa Run!
Solo Suites encourages guests to contribute non-perishable food items to the office food hamper as a random act of kindness throughout the year. Each time guests make a donation, their names get entered into a draw to win a free night at the hotel! Solo Suites also recycles food left behind when guests depart. The cleaning crew carefully inspects food items and brings a selection to the Goldstream Food Bank.
Alpine is celebrating its 5th year as a drop off, storage and sorting location for the Christmas Backpack Project. Also, every Friday is Jeans Day and the admin staff get to wear jeans to work by donating to the West Shore Food Bank or the Backpack Project.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Victoria is holding its 10th Annual Gingerbread Showcase until January 6, 2019 at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. Your donation and vote for your favourite gingerbread creation supports Habitat Victoria’s Build Program. 100% of your donation goes directly toward helping them build a Habitat home for a family.
Pacific Centre Family
Services Association Every Christmas, Pacific Centre Family Services rallies with caring community members to give toys and gifts to children and families in need. Counselling staff and board members come together to wrap gifts, and the Evening Optimist Club fills out each hamper with Christmas dinners, including turkey with all the trimmings and big Boxing Day breakfasts. Delivery day is both heart warming and heart wrenching, as delivery volunteers witness how little these families have and how appreciative the parents are. It means so much to them to give their children a happy Christmas.
Pacific Centre’s Christmas Hamper Program is a community effort that every donor can feel really good about. If you would like to donate toys or gifts, call us at 250-478-8357. Thank you!
In keeping with our statement of values and responsible corporate citizenship, we encourage and support employees who wish to participate in volunteer activities. Our staff are entitled to two paid days off per year to pursue volunteer activities in their local community. It’s our world. Together, we can make it better!
City of Colwood
Every year, in addition to regular giving campaigns through the United Way, City of Colwood Council and staff make donations to hampers for local families. Hampers include gift cards for groceries, all the gifts on wish lists, wrapping paper, tape, Christmas cards, calendars, and a few special items for the moms who tend not to ask for anything for themselves.
Donations can be dropped off to the Backpack Project at City Hall. Backpacks are stuffed with warm blankets, socks, gloves, hats and scarves, plus food and toiletries. People are encouraged to attend the Colwood Christmas Light Up to bring donations for the Goldstream Food Bank and vote for their favourite Christmas tree by placing their ‘gifts’ under the tree they like the best.
City of Langford
Over the course of 20+ years, Langford’s Annual Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament has raised upwards of $600,000 for a long list of local charities, non-profits and community groups, such as, the Goldstream Food Bank, Community Living Victoria, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91, Wounded Warriors, RCMP Auxiliary, the Rotary Club of the West Shore, 911 Care Society, Langford Volunteer Firefighters Association, KidSport, Sport Assist, Keep Girls in Sports, and local sports teams like Rebels Football, Juan de Fuca soccer, and the Belmont Girls Rugby team—who were provincial winners last year!
November 27 was ‘Giving Tuesday’, the opening day of the giving season that continues throughout December. Charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others. At the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island, Giving Trees will be set up at each of our West Shore branches, Westhills and Eagle Creek, as well as Downtown. Each Giving Tree displays colored tags highlighting important YMCA-YWCA Programs and Services. Drop into any Y locationand select a tag from one of our trees to donate to the Y program that is most meaningful to you. You can also donate online @ vancouverislandy.com. Your gift can offer hope and help to families and individuals at a time when it is needed most.
Coast Collective Gallery and Art Centre
One of the most exciting shows at our non-profit community art centre each year is our Earth Day Children’s Art Show. We invite artists up to age 12 to bring in artwork that celebrates Earth Day. Children are always so excited to see their art up in a real gallery! This is a free community event and open to all children who want to participate.
GAP Publishing Group
Whenever possible, the GoWestShore Magazine staff work to showcase what local people/groups are doing to make life better for all of us. We do this so that you, our readers, have a chance to become familiar with, support and/or participate in some way, if you choose. The following, in no particular order, are a few groups whose efforts we supported with extra love in our magazine this year.