Mission Community Services Christmas Bureau volunteers Pat

Mission Christmas Bureau doors open for business

Registrations accepted Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its office in the Junction

The Mission Community Services (MCS) Christmas Bureau doors were officially opened Friday at the Junction Mall. Nestled between Urban Planet and the dental office, organizers are hoping the high-profile location will be easy to find and elicit more donations.

“I’m thrilled to be in a retail setting,” said MCS board chair Karen Laing, who remembers being a part of the annual program when she first moved to Mission more than 30 years ago. “The program has grown and developed.”

This is our second year at this location, said MCS executive director Tony Lapointe, adding donations have dropped seven or eight per cent over the past year, but people are still stopping by to offer support.

The majority of donations come in November and December, but the MCS food centre helps families year round.

It takes hundreds of volunteers each year to run the Christmas Bureau and its events, said coordinator Phil Hope, adding there is still time to get involved.

The office is accepting registrations Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and donations can be dropped off Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are accepting donations of non-perishable good and new gifts, said Hope. Tax receipts will also be given for any cash contributions.

Events are also being organized throughout the community to benefit the Christmas Bureau, such as the Rotary Carol Festival Nov. 29 at the Clarke Theatre, the Candlelight Parade Dec. 7 through Mission’s downtown and Christmas at the Clarke benefit concert Dec. 19.

The West Coast Express Santa Train will be running Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Ride the train for free when you bring a new toy or gift donation to the Christmas Bureau.

The firefighter’s ride will be rolling through neighbourhoods in December. Check back here often for opportunities to support the Christmas Bureau.

For more information about the Christmas Bureau, call 604-814-3333.