Santa's not the only one delivering toys this Christmas.
The Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society, in partnership with Pink Orchid Studio, filled three SUVs and trucks with action figures, board games, dolls and books for the Surrey Women's Centre. Volunteers also wrapped the gifts for the Centre, just in time for them to be distributed for the holidays.
"We were looking for a charity to donate to," said Harp Sohal, co-owner of Pink Orchid Studio, a Surrey-based hair and makeup salon. "We actually taught our classes here at PICS and we met up with one of the co-ordinators at Surrey Women's Centre. It just stuck in our heads, so we thought we would do something with them.
"We gave them a ring and they really needed toys this year."
The Surrey Women's Centre assists women and children who are enduring difficult times, and the toys will go to a wishlist program run by the organization.
"Kids are able to make a wishlist and Surrey Women's Centre tries to fulfill these wishes with gifts," said Pardeep Sahota, a consultant at PICS. "Also, it was benefitting Harmony House, which is the first immigrant second-stage house in all of Canada."
The toy drive was promoted primarily though Pink Orchid's Facebook page, which has nearly 2,500 subscribers.
"It's nice to see people use their following on social media for such a positive thing," said Sahota.
Sohal noted that the timing for the toy drive was perfect as it's the Pink Orchid's off-season, contrasted by the typically busy spring and summer months. Based on the success of this inaugural event, the studio plans to run the drive annually, perhaps more than once per year.
"It's so rewarding - I didn't realize how rewarding it was going to be until I'm doing it now," said Sohal. "Most of the parents are bringing their kids with them and the kids really want to donate too."
Sahota added that there's still time to give after the holidays and that groups like the Surrey Women's Centre can always use more donations. email@example.com