Friday, September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

Volunteers and community members make the season bright for kids


Santa’s Workshop 2022 was a huge success this year with many very positive changes made.

Some 71 families and 127 children were provided gifts and gift certificates. Sixteen volunteer elves worked tirelessly over a month to make this happen under the leadership of Wendy Eggertson, head elf.  

Their workshop held this year in the basement of the Baptist Church was a wonderful addition to a 35-year tradition. Also new this year were loaded Christmas baskets (one per child!) and drawstring cloth wrapping bags, generously provided for and made by one of our star volunteers, Diane Kray. Our volunteers this year — too many to name individually — went beyond the call of duty and generously donated many hours towards providing toys to children who may not otherwise have received them.

Rob Wiltzen of Salt Spring Island Community Services stepped in to make the online application process understandable to recipients and volunteers alike.  

“My child had a fabulous Christmas,” said one recipient. “He enjoyed all the gifts from the Santa’s Workshop crew. He had no other toys this year. Thank you all for making our Christmas merry. Blessings!”  

Many recipients were single parents who have struggled tremendously with the increased cost of everything this year. Several expressed that they were having trouble just paying for rent and food with nothing left for anything else. They said that Santa’s Workshop filled this void. We are always happy to do so. 

Many thanks to several individual donors this year, including one donation made in honour of their deceased son. Such a lovely gesture and a touching way to spread joy to the children of Salt Spring Island on Christmas morning. Other donations were made by our always helpful merchants, including Country Grocer, West of the Moon, Mouats, Pharmasave, Salt Spring Books, the Capital Regional District (pool passes) and our “Pie Ladies” (the Women’s Institute). 

And as always, Salt Spring Island’s very generous motorcycle group, who organize the Salt Spring Toy Run. Without them, we would not be able to operate. When you see members of the group, give thanks to them. For as many years as we have been operating, they have been quietly fundraising for us behind the scenes. 

It is at this time of year that we are most amazed at how our little community comes together to support the less fortunate of Salt Spring Island. We are indeed fortunate to live in such a caring place.

Blessings to all in 2023! And if you would like to volunteer for next year, please call Wendy Eggertson at 250-537-2658. 


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