Lisa Werring, Surrey Christmas Bureau boss, inside the charity’s new home. (Submitted photo)

Lisa Werring, Surrey Christmas Bureau boss, inside the charity’s new home. (Submitted photo)

‘Toys, toys, toys, we need toys’: Surrey Christmas Bureau calls for donations

‘It’s been a challenging season to say the least. Every day is a new adventure,’ says bureau boss Lisa Werring

While the holiday season got off to a rocky start for the Surrey Christmas Bureau, the magic is now alive and well inside the walls of their new home.

A new toy depot site was secured in October after it was discovered thieves had destroyed the old Stardust building they previously operating out of along City Parkway.

Fabricana stepped up to offer its property at 13853 104th Ave., the former Funky Monkey play centre.

While there may be fewer elves buzzing about the operation, and COVID-19 had meant some new protocols, the operation is already in full swing.

“The vast majority of our volunteer base are retirees, and they are particularly vulnerable to COVID,” said bureau boss Lisa Werring. “So we’re operating with a skeleton crew. But the Guildford Park Secondary co-op class are here doing their rotations and they’re saving the day. They’re helping us build toy hampers and are a big part of the story. It’s Christmas magic.”

Registration for clients has moved online this year, due to the pandemic, explained Werring.

“We’ve got roughly 1,300 in now and more are being submitted every day,” she said. “That’s been going well. The response has been good and people are liking it, especially not having to stand in line in the rain.”

Unlike other years, clients of the bureau don’t come inside the building to pick up their presents. Instead, curbside pick-up has been instituted and “toy hampers” are being given out.

READ ALSO: Toy depot site secured by Surrey Christmas Bureau after thieves ruin old Stardust building

And while the operation is running smoothly thus far, Werring said the bureau is in dire need of donations.

“Toys, toys, toys,” she told the Now-Leader. “We need toys. We’re already in the distribution phase and we’re running through our inventory from last year very quickly. We need toys for all ages, but unusually this year, we need toys for both boys and girls in the age 9 to 12 category.”

“Donations can also be done over the phone, or online,” she said. “And in person at the christmas bureau, but masks are mandatory of course.”

Meantime, Werring said the Surrey Christmas Bureau’s Adopt-A-Family program is still running this year.

“We have a limited crew working in that department, they’re working out of my admin office so they’re distanced away from us. We normally have eight ladies who man that department, but there’s just two this year. They’re working as fast as they can,” she said.

For that program this year amid the pandemic, Werring said the bureau is “advising sponsors to do no-contact delivery, kind of like Door Dash or Skip the Dishes.”

“Some of them have had some fun ideas, similar to the ‘wine ninja’ thing,” she chuckled. “Some are thinking they’ll dress up in costume, deliver the package, ring the bell, back up, sing a Christmas carol and all that.”

“We’re just encouraging everyone to stay safe,” she said.

“It’s been a challenging season to say the least,” Werring added. “Every day is a new adventure.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Delta Police dog retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

A tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

Police on the scene of a homicide in South Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood earlier this month. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crime Stoppers received more than 500 tips related to gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization “urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips”

In 2017, a member of the Disneyana Fan Club curated a small Community Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Surrey about the early days of Disney and the cartoonist Walt Disney. The museum is now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibition. (Photo: Submitted)
Museum of Surrey wants to spotlight local organizations and clubs

Museum now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibit

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Most Read