The vision behind CV Christmas for Kids is similar to Santa’s Workshop, however, due to the pandemic, the co-ordinators are asking that all donated gifts be new to lower exposure risks. Black Press file photo

CV Christmas for Kids filling the gap for those in need

New toys, donations accepted as Santa’s Workshop on pause due to COVID-19

When Valley resident Tamara Meggitt heard that Santa’s Workshop will not be operational due to the pandemic this year, she knew there was an opportunity to step up.

Meggitt, along with her friends Shellie Yates Smyrichinsky and Deb Muckle created Island Heart of Hope, an organization that began in August 2017 to help people in the community through various projects (Meggitt was one of the organizers of the Loonies For Loggers project last year).

This year, the group wants to assist to fill in the gap for children and teens ages 0 to 17 within the Comox Valley with new gifts donated by the community for the holiday season through CV Christmas for Kids.

Last year, Santa’s Workshop assisted in finding gifts for around 270 kids, says Meggitt. Within 48 hours of getting the registration system online, she explains there more than 200 people registered. She anticipates there may be more than 1,000 registrants by December.

RELATED: Santa’s Workshop on pause due to pandemic

“COVID-19 is definitely a huge factor this year. There was also the logging strike which ended in February, and everything shut down in March – that’s really hard for families, especially those where (one parent) lost their job and then another.”

The vision behind CV Christmas for Kids is similar to Santa’s Workshop, however, due to the pandemic, the co-ordinators are asking that all donated gifts be new to lower exposure risks.

The group has secured a storage place, and a variety of drop-off locations around the Comox Valley will soon be posted on their website, cvchristmasforkids.com. Meggitt is encouraging community members to work within their ‘bubble.’

“If everyone works with their group, people can put some money into a kitty and then one person can go do the shopping and that same person can do the drop-off. We can make this happen.”

In addition to gifts (Meggitt will have an age-appropriate list of suggested gift ideas on the website), the organization is also seeking gift cards from local stores (of $25) within the Comox Valley for donation.

“We want to let people know that Christmas isn’t cancelled. Our hope is also to raise awareness about Santa’s Workshop and the work they do as well. We don’t want to replace what they do, but fill the gap.”

The group is also looking for volunteer drivers. They will be delivering gifts to homes in the Valley between Dec. 20 and 22 with contactless drop-off. In order to promote social distancing, drivers will be by themselves in the vehicle and will deliver around 10 gifts each.

Gifts are being collected, along with registrations, through their website until Dec. 5. On Dec. 12 and 13, Island Hearts of Hope is organizing a toy drive (location to be determined) where they will put out a call for specific items to be dropped off. Cash donations are also being accepted via e-transfer.

“This year with people keeping to their bubble Thanksgiving dinners will be smaller and there will be less large groups. We’re encouraging people instead of spending lots of money on that big dinner, take some of that money and put it towards a toy.”

For more information, visit Island Hearts of Hope on Facebook or CVChristmasforKids.com.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

A Secret Santa program through First Insurance – The Co-operators isn’t happening this year. Black Press file photo
Courtenay insurance company’s Secret Santa a no-go this year

First Insurance – The Co-operators program has run for almost 20 years

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read