Michelle, pictured at her work station, is one of many volunteers at Santa’s Workshop, which supplied 553 children with Christmas presents this year. Scott Stanfield photo

Michelle, pictured at her work station, is one of many volunteers at Santa’s Workshop, which supplied 553 children with Christmas presents this year. Scott Stanfield photo

Santa’s Workshop brightened Christmas for 553 Comox Valley children in 2021

The numbers are in, and Comox Valley residents can give themselves a collective pat on the back.

A total of 227 families visited Santa’s Workshop during the 2021 Christmas season, shopping for 553 children from Oyster River to Cook Creek & Hornby Island. In addition, 24 grandparents received gifts for 79 grandchildren. The children receive both new and gently used items, as well as bikes and helmets.

“In all, 180 children received a bike – all refurbished by our 14 ‘bike elves’ who worked endlessly to have them all ready for their new homes,” said volunteer, Barb Metheral. “All our ‘elves’ are amazing and are happiest when they return back if they can each year. No wonder Santa is thrilled to keep them all on his helper list!”

Santa’s workshop extends thanks to the following businesses, which offered drop boxes at their locations: BMO, Courtenay Museum, Shoppers Drug Mart, Habitat 4 Humanity, Dairy Queen, Fabricland, Driftwood Mall, London Drugs, Scotia Bank, Fountain Tire, Comox Valley Toyota, Island Honda, Mosiac Vision and Walmart. And also to these Comox locations: Coastal Community Credit Union, Comox Mall, Scotia Bank, Slegg Construction and Uptown Dental Centre.

“Huge ‘shout outs” of thanks to Emterra Environmental, Ashcroft & Associates Accounting Services and the Comox Valley Record who kindly give of their time, while also appreciating our work for the kids and their families,” added Metheral. “And we can’t miss mentioning the two wonderful guys who so kindly gave free of charge their valuable time to plow our parking lot on two separate occasions. It was so much appreciated! And to the people who brought their delicious baking for the elves – thank you! Thanks as well to North American Van Lines, Heine von Schilling, Canadian Tire, Cross Canada Cycle Tours Society & Black’s Cycle – you all know how you’ve helped out in your own special ways. To everyone who donated new toys, used items and cash, our thanks to you all.

“In addition, Ken Demontigny and Galaxy Motors – your wonderful generosity definitely put us into a great location, and we can’t thank you enough for your donation of our 2021 very suitable building. What a great community, what a great team! Thank you, you are all so appreciated for your kindness and caring.”