The 2016 Mission Christmas Bureau campaign has begun. More than 200 volunteers will help the group collect food and gift items to help those in need in the community.

Mission Christmas Bureau begins 2016 campaign

Phil Hope, coordinator of the Mission food centre and Christmas Bureau, says the demand for help will likely rise this year.

The Mission Christmas Bureau is officially open for registration and donations.

On Tuesday, the bureau kicked off its 2016 campaign by opening the doors of its new location at the Junction Mall. The office is located by The Source store.

Phil Hope, coordinator of the Mission food centre and Christmas Bureau, has been involved in the annual campaign for the past 18 years and says the demand for help will likely rise this year.

“Going by the food centre registrations, I’m assuming that the Christmas Bureau will be higher too. We are gradually building up,” said Hope.

The Christmas Bureau collects donations from people in the community, sorts them and then passes them out to families who need them.

Last year there were 651 baskets given out by the end of the campaign.

The bureau normally has between 200 and 250 volunteers helping out, and Hope said they are looking for more.

Having just begun, Hope said they need donations of just about everything.

“Food items, anything non-perishable, is great. Gift items, usually the teens miss out because nobody knows what to get teens. But we need baby items, teen items and there is a six-to-eight-year-olds area that we often need items for.”

He said cash donations and gift cards are always welcome as well.

The financial goal for this year’s campaign is to break the $100,000 mark.

Anyone who needs help this Christmas season can come to the bureau office and register for assistance. The office is open for registration Monday to Friday, until Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at the office Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Christmas Bureau office is located at 32555 London Ave. in Mission.