With the belief that no child should go without a present this holiday season, First Insurance’s Secret Santa Program is extending its deadline to register for a present for Comox Valley children.
“Parents count on us to fill their wish,” explained Pamela Jolin, co-ordinator of the program, which is entering its 12th year of service.
“It began as a staff initiative when we saw a need in the community at the time. We saw how successful the Santa’s Anonymous program in Victoria was, and we wanted something like that here, and it has just been growing.”
The program distributes gifts to those in need, and the requests have been steadily growing over the years.
Jolin estimates more than 6,000 children have received presents from through the program, and encourages those who want to register a child, can do so with an extended deadline to this Friday.
Jolin added those who want to register for the program — which is exclusively in the Comox Valley — can fill out a registration form in the Comox Valley Record, drop by any First Insurance office, or call the Secret Santa line at 250-703-0858.
“The numbers are a little less this year because we’re not in Campbell River now, but by the time everything is done, we are looking about the same,” she noted. “It’s a sign of the times. You can judge a lot by the economy; not much has changed.”
Tags with presents are distributed to businesses around Comox, Cumberland and Courtenay, and 100 per cent of the proceeds collected through the Black Press Coins for Kids campaign (previously Pennies for Presents) goes toward purchasing gifts for the program.
Now in its 17th year, Coins for Kids has raised more than $600,000 since its inception.