Make a holiday gift to the Christmas Bureau and give hope for the holidays and share the joy of the season
Ways to donate
We know that there are reasons why people are having a hard time, and that no one struggles without cause. From job loss to illness to mental health challenges and gender-based violence, the most vulnerable members of our community deserve our care and support.
The Christmas Bureau ensures that low-income families, individuals, and seniors living in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Lions Bay, and Bowen Island can participate in celebrating the holidays. Christmas Bureau recipients have an average annual household income of $16,858, and in 2018, the program supported nearly 1,800 people living in our North Shore community.
If you or your family would like to receive support from the Christmas Bureau, you can learn more about the Christmas Bureau here.
If you would like to volunteer with the Christmas Bureau, you can learn more here.
This volunteer-run program has two components:
The Toy Shop – where families can choose donated new toys and gifts for children ages 18 and under.
Holiday gift baskets – filled with grocery gift cards, wrapped presents for each family member, personal care necessities (such as toothpaste and soap), and other festive items which are generously provided by sponsors who are matched with qualified families and singles.
How it works
Trained staff and volunteers interview each applicant to ensure they qualify for support. Individuals must provide proof of income and residence, and show valid medical cards for each child in the household.
Families might include a single mom with young children, or an aging parent with dependent adult children. A family may also include a grandparent or older children who are living with a disability. Individuals could be people in their 20s, who are alone and struggling to make ends meet, or they may be older community members trying to get back on their feet after falling on hard times.
The Christmas Bureau supports all individuals, families, and seniors, as long as they live on the North Shore and qualify for our assistance.
The Christmas Bureau offers five ways for you to make a difference:
1. Make a financial gift
Your financial gift will help the Christmas Bureau staff and more than 200 volunteers operate the program during the holiday season. Your gift will guarantee that our team can provide individually-selected presents and holiday gift baskets for nearly 2,000 people in just a few short months. Your gift will also help train our volunteers and keep the lights on at the Toy Shop, so parents can select gifts from the heart for their children.
Gifts over $20 with receipts are eligible for a tax receipt.
2. Sponsor a family
Put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas by sponsoring a family. Recruit the help of your family, friends, colleagues or community groups to provide holiday gift baskets for low-income individuals, families, and seniors.
Tell us the number of families, individuals, and seniors you would like to sponsor and we will match you with qualified applications. We’ll provide the ages of each person, along with gift suggestions to guide your shopping. We will also send an information package that explains gift basket assembly and delivery.
- A $50 grocery gift card for every member of the family. For example, a family of three would receive a total of $150 in grocery gift cards
- A wrapped gift for each family member. The baskets must contain only new items (gift receipts are appreciated) and we suggest each gift should cost $30-40
- Optional festive items such as chocolates, napkins, or candles can add extra holiday sparkle to the basket.
We are very careful with the gift baskets. They are collected and organized by a registration number and kept in a secure location for pick-up the following day. We respect and protect the privacy of each family receiving assistance and do not disclose sponsors’ names to the families.
3. Make an in-kind donation
Christmas Bureau clients receive grocery gift cards, toiletries, personal care items, toys, wrapped donated gifts, and other basic essentials. There is a deep and ongoing need for these items, and your in-kind donation will ensure that vulnerable members of our community can celebrate the holiday season. The Christmas Bureau serves children 0 – 18 and tweens and teens are often harder to buy for. To help you get started, we have prepared a tween and teen wish list.
4. Drop-by the Toy Drive at the Northshore Auto Mall
Every year, our good friends at the Northshore Auto Mall host the Christmas Bureau Toy Drive. Families, businesses, and community groups drop off new, unwrapped gifts for children and teenagers in need, and then join us for a celebratory afternoon including kids’ activities, hot chocolate, and family photos with Santa.
5. Support Bikes for Tykes
Each fall our partner, Obsession Bikes, solicits donations of used bikes to fix up for safe riding. The Christmas Bureau then identifies local children who need a bike and delivers a refurbished two-wheeler to them (along with a brand-new helmet) in time for the holidays. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org