Secret Santa requests reflect Comox Valley economy

Pamela Jolin has never seen so many requests for warm clothes instead of toys for kids, which she said reflects the Valley's economy.

Pamela Jolin has never seen so many requests for warm clothes instead of toys for kids, which she said reflects the Valley’s economy.

As organizer of the Secret Santa program for First Insurance Agencies, she said the fact that necessities are asked for shows some families really need extra help during the holidays.

“I mean the kids aren’t asking for the moon; they’re asking for the necessities in life,” said Jolin.

Parents are “asking for winter clothes for their kids instead of toys. There just isn’t money for the fun stuff their kids need.”

Jolin added that if a young child requested a winter coat, they’re going to receive a small toy as well.

“Santa, to me, wouldn’t bring just a winter coat to a little kid,” she explained.

The Secret Santa concept, which is co-sponsored by JET-FM and the Comox Valley Record, is a simple one.

There are a great many families in our communities for whom Christmas is a financial burden that simply cannot be overcome.

Rather than leave these children without gifts this holiday season, Secret Santa provides a means for individuals to anonymously purchase a gift from a real child’s wishlist, and have that gift connected with the child in time for Christmas.

Trees were set up with information tags at partner locations where people could choose a tag and shop for a requested gift for a local child in need. The tags had pseudonyms to protect the child’s privacy.

The program collected toys for 785 kids, split about half and half in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, this year.

Now, volunteers will anonymously deliver the gifts to the parents of the registered children, for opening on Christmas day. Jolin said she expects to have all the gifts delivered by the end of the day today.

Jolin said the program has been growing each year since it started in 2001, adding that 197 kids received gifts in the program’s first year, and 696 kids received gifts in 2010.

“I think we have more community participation now. Every year we end up with increased community support,” she explained. “It amazes me, the generosity of the community. It just warms my heart.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read