Nanaimo non-profits are looking for space to be able to accommodate their upcoming Christmas charity drives. (Stock photo)

Nanaimo non-profits are looking for space to be able to accommodate their upcoming Christmas charity drives. (Stock photo)

Christmas charities in need of space to accommodate their efforts

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and Christmas Angels charities challenged by COVID-19 times

Organizers of Christmas charities are aready searching for ways to host COVID-safe events this year – if they can get the facilities needed to pull it off.

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, for underprivileged families in Nanaimo, needs warehouse or storefront space that could help accommodate a very different type of toy drive this year. Organizers and board members are grappling with numerous challenges as they try to offer a COVID-19-safe alternative to the way the drive is normally held.

Before a drive can be held, a secure location is needed to sort and distribute our community donations.

“The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive has been considering our options. Can we hold a toy drive this year?” asked Carolyn Iles, toy drive publicity coordinator, in an e-mail to the News Bulletin. “We know it may be needed more than ever, however, our many volunteers are older, and we need to find a way to keep everyone safe.”

Anyone who can offer, or knows of a facility that can offer, approximately 3,500 square feet of space for about a week in mid December is asked to contact the toy drive through its website or Facebook page. Visit or

Volunteer Nanaimo is also looking for space for its Christmas Angels charity drive.

Because of physical distancing and other COVID-19 protocols, the organization is unable to host the program this year at its small office on Barons Road.

The Christmas Angels program supports seniors, families and youths in need at Christmas and the organization is on the lookout for an empty space of at least 1,300 square feet to use for November and December that can be secure and accessible. Volunteer Nanaimo is also offering to have the space cleaned to COVID standards after it is no longer needed.

Anyone who has space or can offer sponsorship to cover some of the costs for a site, is asked to contact Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, at 250-758-7121 or e-mail
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