One of the best parts of the holidays, in the spirit of the season is giving back.
That sentiment was not lost on members of the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA). Through initiatives like the Grocery Gift Card program and Holiday Toy drives, VICA managed to raise $20,000 to children and families in need, including Cedar Elementary in Campbell River.
$13,000 will be used to purchase grocery gift cards that will be distributed to Vancouver Island elementary schools and given to families in need throughout 2023. With inflation being a key issue throughout 2022, the price of food is one necessity that is ceaselessly increasing, with many relying on living paycheque to paycheque.
Recipient schools of the donations include Cedar, Ruth King Elementary of Langford, Tillicum in Saanich, George Jay and Oaklands Elementary in Victoria, and Georgia Avenue Community School in Nanaimo. Each received $2,150 worth of grocery gift cards to give to families in their school communities who are the most in need.
Georgia Avenue Community School Principal Shauna Coey feels that the initiative from groups such as the VICA is a vital ally to have for families, both in her school and island wide.
“Being able to offer support outside the classroom for our students and their families is essential in our community school,” Coey said. “We are always appreciative of the generosity VICA-members give us this time of year and thank them for their continued support of our school community.”
Money was raised for the grocery gift card program through VICA annual Christmas Luncheon, held Dec. 9 at the Ocean Pointe Hotel in Delta, B.C. Members donated through sponsorships, ticket sales and a 50/50 draw. Also included was a “change challenge”, with members emptying their pockets and fill paint can buckets with loonies and toonies.
Along with the grocery gift card program, $7000 of new unwrapped toys were collected at VICA offices and donated to CFAX Radio of Victoria’s Santa Anonymous, The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, and the Parksville Society of Organized Services; Plus a $500 donation to the Ladysmith Resource Centre.
VICA CEO Rory Kumala says the construction community is always ready to step up to the challenge of helping others in need year after year.
“We’re fortunate to have a strong construction community on Vancouver Island, allowing our members to express their support for the communities in which we work and live,” said Kumala. “Our hope is that our donations will be able to ease the burden of those in need, as we realize the stressful time the holidays can bring.”
For a complete list of VICA toy donors, visit www.vicabc.ca/toys.