June 20, 2024

For 105 years, The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund has been devoted to creating the vacations brighter for B.C. residents who’re much less lucky.

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As a baby, Jennifer Souvanvong’s immigrant household found the magic of Christmas bureaus.

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Now, the mortgage dealer is giving again.

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“It was later in life that I remembered going someplace and choosing up presents, after which hastily, I don’t know what it was, I simply thought, ‘Hey, was there a donation place we went to?’ ”

She determined to do one thing about it. She started by sponsoring a household via the Surrey Christmas Bureau. One other time she requested for donations to be despatched to the bureau as an alternative of getting presents for her birthday, which falls in December.

Then, a few years in the past, she been organizing a toy drive at her workplace at Blue Pearl Mortgage.

“My workplace has jumped on-board. It grew to become a contest.” Two groups within the workplace of 29 compete to see who can usher in probably the most toys.

Final yr, she and a few co-workers loaded up just a few autos with their loot and dropped it off on the bureau’s toy depot.

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“Once we received down there it was so heartwarming and wonderful, with mother and father coming in with their children and folks coming in with donations.”

For 105 years, The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund has been devoted to creating the vacations brighter for B.C. residents who’re much less lucky. With the generosity of our readers and supporters, the fund provides cash to 26 B.C. neighborhood organizations, just like the Surrey Christmas Bureau, that present meals hampers and presents to kids, needy households and singles.

Souvanvong’s mother and father fled the Vietnam Warfare after they had been of their late teenagers. Sponsored by a church, and never figuring out any English, they landed in a small city in Alberta.

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Jennifer Souvanvong with Blue Pearl Mortgage members and donated toys in Surrey on Nov. 28. Souvanvong was as soon as helped by the Surrey Christmas Bureau. Photograph by Arlen Redekop /PNG

“We didn’t have quite a bit and I didn’t know any completely different,” mentioned Souvanvong, the youngest of her three Canadian-born siblings. She grew up in Lacombe, Alta.

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“Once we went right down to the bureau there and picked out toys, I bear in mind desirous to take them residence. However we ended up getting them on Christmas. I bear in mind how a lot of a distinction it made, particularly when different individuals had been celebrating.”

Souvanvong now embraces Christmas. She had already begun getting ready for this yr’s when she talked to The Province in late November.

“As we communicate my home is totally finished up. I really simply went and purchased some extra Christmas decorations.”

Her husband can be from an immigrant household. He was 5 when he got here to Canada together with his mother and father from Laos.

“We’ve been collectively for 10 years. Now he’s totally into Christmas as nicely. We put up the tree and omit stuff for Santa. We turn into large children once more.”

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Organizing the toy drive at her workplace takes some work, however it’s price it, she says.

“I simply have a look at my life as being so blessed compared to the place I used to be. To provide again the place I can, that’s the place it modified for me. After which desirous to do it not simply alone. You may get extra people, particularly these within the workplace, who don’t essentially know the influence they will have. That’s why I wished individuals to return down with me to the donation centre.”

The 2023 marketing campaign runs till Dec. 31.

Donations will be made by:

On-line at: https://theprovince.com/esf

By mail to: The Province Empty Stocking Fund

968 East Cordova St., Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1M6

By calling: 604-253-6911

2023 direct donation hyperlink: https://safe.e2rm.com/registrant/DonationPage.aspx?eventid=385682

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