SOS Caring for Community at Christmas adapts to COVID-19

Photo courtesy of Society of Organized Services (SOS).
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The Society of Organized Services’ (SOS) Caring for Community at Christmas program will look a little different this year because of COVID-19.

The pandemic resulted in SOS closing its thrift store, laying off 80 per cent of its staff and losing the majority of revenue used to fund its programs, according to its website.

SOS has raised over $43,000 towards its goal to purchase $125,000 worth of grocery store gift cards for low-income families and individuals. The cards will be distributed by appointment to families, adults and seniors who need extra support this holiday season.

Donations of new, unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Christmas Tent located outside the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Participating Oceanside businesses host SOS Angel Trees, decorated with ornaments — each representing a gift requested by a local child or teenager. The gifts can be bought and brought back to the business or to the SOS Community Services Centre for donation. The organization’s website said the toy shop is often short on gifts for teenagers. 

Financial donations can be made online here or in person at the SOS office Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It is closed for lunch from 12 – 1 p.m.).

Registration for the program is by appointment only, due to COVID-19. Low-income families and individuals can call 250-248-2093 to make an appointment.  

SOS assisted 1,342 adults and seniors, and gave gifts to 1,404 children and youth during the 2019 Christmas campaign, according to its website.

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