During these busy and globally turbulent times, we wish to pause to give thanks to the many generous community members, volunteers and sponsors who have contributed to the First Credit Union & Insurance Secret Santa program over the past fourteen years.
The Secret Santa program was designed to support children and families in the community that would otherwise go without gifts during the holiday season. Since its inception in 2001, a startling 7,000 presents have been distributed. This year, it is expected that through the public’s generosity, over 500 children in the Comox Valley alone will be reached.
Many of the First staff and community partners have been with the program since the beginning, collectively donating approximately 1000 volunteer hours annually. Those involved speak about the opportunity to bring happiness and comfort to those struggling and less fortunate or those experiencing an unexpected crisis or challenge. “Some of the most heart warming and memorable Christmas wishes are those that were the most modest: not flashy toys or sophisticated electronics, instead, things like warm winter boots or new bedding”, says Pamela Jolin, longtime staff member and program coordinator.
For the 2015 season, trees will be located in all First Insurance offices, Westview Agencies office, Ascent Physiotherapy, Courtenay Family Chiropractic & Orthotics, Cumberland Dental, Dairy Queen, Driftwood Dental, Fitness Excellence, FYidoctors, Glacier Greens and First Credit Union in Cumberland and Powell River.
Community members who wish to purchase a gift for one of these special children can currently pick a tag off any tree, go shopping and then return the unwrapped gift to the same location or any of the First Credit Union & Insurance offices or Westview Agencies office by Monday, December 14th. For those unable to shop, cash donations are also gratefully accepted and volunteers will purchase a gift on behalf of the donor.
Registrations for the First Credit Union & Insurance Secret Santa program are being accepted now until Monday, December 1st, 2015. Forms are published in the Comox Valley Record or can be obtained at one of the First Credit Union or First Insurance branches in the Comox Valley.
For more information, residents can call First at 250-703-0858.