12 Vancouver organizations giving back this holiday season

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Christmas is right around the corner. For many of us it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, but unfortunately not everyone is so lucky. Thankfully there are some fantastic businesses, organizations and charities in and around Vancouver that are doing their bit to help people in need this holiday season.

Take a look at the events below to find out how people are giving something back this Christmas.

Lamborghini Food & Toy Drive

  • What: Lamborghini Vancouver, McLaren Motorsports & Weissach host a festive Food & Toy Drive to support the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. Starbucks will provide hot drinks and Christmas treats, and festivities include face-painting, photo-ops with your favourite sports cars, a meet and greet Santa Claus, and a surprise celebrity guest.
  • Where: Lamborghini Vancouver Showroom – 1720 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, December 12; 12 to 3 p.m.

Toys for Kids

  • What: Volunteers will gift wrap over 3,000 toys, collected over the last few weeks by the various Sikh temples in Metro Vancouver. The toys will go to support families through the The Salvation Army, The Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Family, and New Westminster Family Place.
  • Where: Sikh Academy Newton Elementary School – 12895 85th Avenue, Surrey
  • When: Saturday, December 12; 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Charlene Reaveley Children’s Charity Toy Wrapping

  • What: Toys collected by the Charlene Reaveley Children’s Charity are being wrapped by volunteers this weekend, in honour of Charlene Reaveley, who was tragically lost in a car accident four years ago. Last year’s drive collected 1,200, and this year they ask the people of Vancouver to come down, lend a hand, and show their support.
  • Where: Victoria Hall – 3435 Victoria Drive, Coquitlam
  • When: Saturday, December 12; 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Stuff the Truck at Urban Fare

  • What: Roundhouse Radio teams up with Urban Fare to Stuff-The-Truck for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Drop off donations at the Truck Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., this holiday season at one of four Vancouver Urban Fare locations. Volunteers will be accepting non-perishable food items for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. If you you’re unable to make it for the event, you can drop donations off at a Roundhouse Collection Box at any Urban Fare location Vancouver.
  • Where: Urban Fare – 1133 Alberni Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until Sunday, December 20; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Victor Ghirra Toy Drive

  • What: An annual toy drive honouring the late Victor Ghirra, who every year would dress as Santa Claus and distribute toys to the B.C. Children’s Hospital. This drive’s final count will be held December 12, before the toys are wrapped by volunteers and given to organizations like the BC Children’s Hospital, the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, and the Richmond Christmas Fund.
  • Where: Riverside Palace Banquet Hall – 14431 Knox Way, Richmond
  • When: Saturday, December 12; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vancouver Giants Teddy Bear Toss

  • What: The Vancouver Giants annual Teddy Bear Toss is a beloved holiday tradition, where fans throw hundreds and hundreds of teddy bears on the ice following the Giants’ first goal. The Giants face off against the Everett Silver Tips, but no matter who loses, everyone wins.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – North Renfrew Street and Miller Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 7:30 p.m.

Covenant House Triple Matching Gift Challenge

  • What: The Covenant House Vancouver will triple contributions made for the winter season. Every bit helps, and with this campaign, every bit helps three times as much.
  • Where: Covenant House – 575 Drake Street, Vancouver
  • When:

Keithmas VI Food Bank Fundrager

  • What: Now in its sixth iteration, the Keithermas Fundrager – weirdly enough – commemorates the birthday of Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards. With performances from bands including The Rentalmen, The Ballantynes, La Chinga, and more, donations will be collected for the Vancouver Food Bank.
  • Where: The Rickshaw Theatre – 254 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 8 p.m.

Vancouver Food Bank Christmas Campaign

  • What: On top of food donations, the Vancouver Food Bank Christmas Campaign asks for monetary donations from the people of Vancouver. For every $1 donated, the Vancouver Food Bank is able to provide $3 worth of nutritious food to those in need. To make a donation, visit them online.
  • Where: Vancouver Food Bank – 1150 Raymur Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Now until Friday, December 25

Lotus Light Winter Charity Drive 2015

  • What: An annual Christmas charity drive, this year including toys, clothing, supplies, and other things for Syrian children now making their homes in Vancouver. Donations can be made at the Lotus Light offices during office hours.
  • Where: Lotus Light Charity Society office – #200-357 Hastings East, Vancouver
  • When: Now until mid-January; Various times

Bright Nights Charity Train

  • What: A Vancouver tradition, donations and a portion of ticket sales at the Bright Nights Charity Train go directly to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, which has raised over $1.4 million since the event first began in 1998.
  • Where: Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Now until Saturday, January 2; Various times

Festival of Trees

  • What: After 28 years, the Festival of Trees is still supporting the B.C. Children’s Hospital. Featuring dozens of trees from a variety of organizations around the city, the Festival of Trees is a beloved Vancouver tradition with a good cause at the centre.
  • Where: Four Seasons Hotel – 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver / CF Pacific Centre – 701 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until Tuesday, January 5

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Shawn O'Hara Shawn is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. He loves writing about news, arts, movies, comedy, and culture. Some would argue Shawn is too old to still play Dungeons & Dragons. Shawn would disagree.

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