Santa Claus himself showed up in Surrey on Sunday.
Arriving by fire truck in his signature red suit and white beard, the jolly old elf showed up at the Tong Louie YMCA to help the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society (SFFCS), who were hosting their annual Adopt a Family event, hand out gifts to local residents.
Despite the snowy weather, the turnout was excellent for the event, which featured pizza, craft stations, a bouncy castle and fun rides for children.
“It was a great day! The snow made it magical, although it did present some difficulties,” said Dylan Van Rooyen, SFFCS vice-president, noting that two of the 20 families couldn’t make it, and some had to take a taxi due to the snowy winter conditions.
The SFFCS paid for the taxis, and for the two families that couldn’t make it, SFFCS members drove to their homes to deliver the Adopt a Family package: each family is provided with wrapped gifts for the children, gift cards for the parents, a Christmas dinner food hamper and a couple of treats to make the holiday season special.
A tradition for the SFFCS for more than 20 years, the event is organized by a committee of off-duty members.
Each fire hall, as well as the dispatch centre, administration team and alumni, adopt a family each Christmas.
The SFFCS also made a $5,000 donation to the Surrey Christmas Bureau.
“It’s important to give back – as firefighters, we do it year round – we’re part of the community,” Van Rooyen said.
“We see the need out there, often on a daily basis.”