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‘Tis the season for giving in Cowichan

RCMP Auxiliary Const. Carol Boon began to fill the back of a police cruiser with toys during the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP’s annual Stuff a Cruiser with toys campaign outside Duncan Walmart Superstore on Dec. 7. - Andrew Leong
RCMP Auxiliary Const. Carol Boon began to fill the back of a police cruiser with toys during the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP’s annual Stuff a Cruiser with toys campaign outside Duncan Walmart Superstore on Dec. 7.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

Cowichan as a community is crossing items off the Christmas wishlists of the less fortunate as we approach the holiday.

And that includes everything from essentials like warm jackets, toques and fresh nickers, hygiene and baby care items to good grub and cool toys for the wee-ones.

And it is happening with help of many groups and organizations.

• Mr. Mike’s kicked off its Toy Drive Nov. 30, collecting donations of unwrapped toys or gifts (minimum $10 value) will be accepted at the steakhouse until Dec. 22. Donors will also receive a free appie coupon from the restaurant.

• Toys were collected by the carload by the folks with the Cowichan Valley Social Media Club and the annual Toys Toiletries & Toques Fundraiser that wrapped up Nov. 30.

• Members of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP crew also kept busy Dec.7 with the detachment’s annual Stuff a Cruiser campaign, collecting unwrapped toys for the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, which dishes out the goods along with grub at an annual holiday dinner.

• Meanwhile, the Salvation Army facilitates its annual toy drive advertising gift tags for children on “Angel Christmas trees” at various locations.

New and unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Sally Ann’s hamper location at the Duncan Mall Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10-4 or at the Thrift Store until Dec. 18.

• SUN FM also got into the stuffing spirit, hosting its own Stuff the Truck fundraiser with folks from all walks donating volunteer time and dropping of non-perishable items for Cowichan Valley’s food banks.

• Both the Warmland House shelter and Somenos House women’s shelter always have open arms when it comes to donations.

Non-perishable food items and warm coats/blankets are currently being accepted for Warmland’s patrons at a drop-off bin near the Starbucks, Beverly Street location.

Folks over at Somenos House have also indicated clothing donations as well as gift cards to local grocery stores are wonderful items they’d love to share with their clients.

• Cowichan’s Stacy Middlemiss is yet again organizing her Caring with Cookies campaign, baking scrumptious treats for the less fortunate.

Cookies can be donated until Dec. 22 at Cowichan Sound and Cellular on Canada Avenue and The Footwear Centre in Lake Cowichan.

• Organizers of New Life Baptist church’s community Christmas dinner aren’t only serving up turkey and the fixings, they’re also looking for grocery store gift card donations as well as personal hygiene and baby care items. Items can be dropped off at the church and Margaret Moss Health Centre is accepting the hygiene and baby care donations on their behalf as well.

• Folks at Duncan’s Bistro 161 has also extended an invitation for families in need to their second annual Boxing Day Dinner. Invites are available to be picked up at WAVA, Canadian Mental Health, Meals on the Ground or Cowichan Valley Basket Society. Donations for families are also being accepted at the restaurant.

• Meanwhile, creators of Operation: Underpants are stoked to be running for a second year, and last year having destroyed their goal of collecting 100 pairs of brand-new underwear for Cowichan’s homeless.

This year, the gang’s goal is 500 pairs of new drawers and drop off locations are currently at Cowichan Green Community, Cycle Therapy, Maple Bay Rowing Club, and Bound to be Different.

Donations will be accepted until Dec. 22.

• Socks are pretty essential too. That’s what the folks at Cowichan’s Clements Centre Society think.

And that’s why they’re hosting their annual Sock Drive with a hefty goal of collecting 2,013 pairs.

Organizers have reported they were just over halfway past their goal but need quite a few more donations to meet it.

They’ve extended their deadline until Dec. 20. New socks can be dropped at the centre until that date.

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