The Surrey Christmas Bureau calls it “a perfect storm”.
The annual drive which provides presents to hard-hit families is on track for a record-low year.
Almost 1,900 families are registered with the Surrey Christmas Bureau, and that’s already about 200 more than normal.
The sad reality is that perhaps hard-hit families who have registered may not be able to provide Christmas gifts for their loved ones.
KC Gilroy is the coordinator for the charity which collects and distributes presents to low-income families and says she can’t remember a year where donations have been so low.
“I used the word ‘pathetic’. The shelves are pathetic right now, not in the things people donate, but in the numbers of things that there are,” she said.
She says there are families who could desperately use a toy to make a child’s Christmas.
“A lot of the families involved are more familiar with soccer, they’re more familiar with basketball. And that seems to be the thing going out the door. Clothing for teens: Just solid coloured t-shirts, hoodies are always needed… gift cards, too,” she said.
Gilroy is hoping people in the Lower Mainland can help make a Surrey family’s Christmas with a gift, with donations urgently needed for toddlers and teenagers.