The best part of the holidays is giving back. In the spirit of the season, members of the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) raised over $20,000 for families in need on Vancouver Island. Through VICA’s Grocery Gift Card program and Holiday Toy Drives, members donated $13,000 and $7,000 respectively.
Of the $20,000, $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 the year. As many families are aware, the price of keeping food on the table is ceaselessly increasing, with many living paycheque to paycheque.
“Working directly with families, often we go beyond our educator role and learn the realities of the hardship many of our families are currently facing. Being able to offer support outside the classroom for our students and their families is essential in our community school,” said Shauna Coey Principal, Georgia Avenue Community School. “We are always appreciative of the generosity VICA-Members this time of year and thank them for their continued support of our school community”.
Recipient schools include Ruth King Elementary in Langford, Tillicum in Saanich, George Jay and Oaklands Elementary Schools in Victoria, and Georgia Avenue Community School in Nanaimo and Cedar Elementary in Campbell River. Each elementary school received $2,150 worth of grocery gift cards to give to families in their school communities that need it the most.
“Even through uncertain economic times, VICA Members always step up with their generosity year after year, making a difference in our Vancouver Island communities,” said VICA CEO Rory Kulmala. “We are fortunate to have a strong construction economy on Vancouver Island, allowing our members to express their support for the communities in which we work and live. The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, and we hope our donations will be able to ease that burden for those in need.”
Money was raised for the grocery gift card program through VICA’s Annual Christmas Luncheon, which was held December 9th at the Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel. Members donated through sponsorship, ticket sales, 50/50 tickets as well as a “change challenge”, which saw members empty their pockets and fill buckets of paint cans with loonies and toonies.
In addition to the grocery gift card program, $7,000 worth of new, unwrapped toys were collected at both VICA offices and donated to CFAX’s Santa’s Anonymous, The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, and the Parksville Society of Organized Services; plus a $500 donation to the Ladysmith Resource Centre.
For a complete list of VICA Member toy donors, visit www.vicabc.ca/toys.