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Finding help: Holiday resources available for Sunshine Coasters

Just Ask Angie: What kinds of resources are open over the holidays?

Q: What kinds of resources are open over the holidays? 

A: Here are a handful local supports and opportunities for community togetherness over the holidays and into 2024 : 

Family Sponsorship Program for Pender Harbour and area: This is a program for people in the Pender area who are looking for support in the form of food, holiday gifts for all ages and basic needs. The coordinators told me they are keeping it open for ongoing and last-minute needs. Email community school: [email protected] or call 604-883-2826 (Messages will be checked on the 23rd/24th weekend.) ***An aside about this program: if you are someone who is in a position to donate to this valuable community program, please connect with the contact info mentioned above, and know your contribution goes a long way.

As well, Pender Harbour Lions Club’s Cindy Shroeder is another resource to connect you with last minute gifts or supports. Call 604-740-1739.

The Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild has set up a “Giving Garland” in the Sechelt Public Library lobby with hand-knitted items (toques, mittens, scarves). Anyone with cold hands or heads are welcome to take an item.

As well, library staff reminded me that no library card is necessary to spend time in the library, and that the libraries are inclusive, warm spaces for all to read, use computers etc.

Town of Gibsons community outreach worker Chantelle Burke will be available by phone or email during the holidays to anyone needing warm clothes, sleeping bags, hot meals, showers or simply for mental health support. As well, she can give updates about the inclement weather shelter in lower Gibsons. Call/text: 604-741-1474.

A free community turkey dinner at the Gibsons Legion (747 Gibsons Way) will be held on Dec. 23. For questions, call 236-979-4434. I am told that people will not be turned away.

The Gibsons Salvation Army Food Bank (#5 – 682 Gibsons Way) will be open Dec. 29, 10:30 a.m. to noon for a bread and produce line and 11 a.m. to noon for a free hot lunch. Note that their office is otherwise closed from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2.

The temporary shelter at St-Barts (659 North Road, Gibsons) continues to be open 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through the holidays. The Sunshine Coast Hospice Grief Support Line is open now to Jan. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone who is experiencing grief and needs to talk can call 604-212-0306 and a caring team member will be there to answer and connect with you. As well, you are invited to join the Lighting of the Memories, an annual event that has been hosted by Sunshine Coast Hospice since 1993. It’s a chance for the public to symbolically bring the memory of loved ones into the New Year, through a special ceremonial bonfire to which messages are added. Details: Monday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. at Davis Bay Beach. (Gathering to follow at Mission Point House.) No registration required, everyone is welcome. Roberts Creek Community Christmas Day Potluck at xwesam/Roberts Creek Hall, Dec. 25. Doors at 3 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. “Bring your own plate or cutlery if possible. An evening of holiday music, movies and cheer.” More 

Lastly, If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide: the National Suicide Crisis Helpline can be reached at 9-8-8 (call/text), 24 hours/day, seven days/week. 

To all of our clients and community members: Our Resource Centre will be closed during the week of Dec. 25 to 29. We will re-open 10 a.m. on Jan. 2. Wishing you all peace as the light returns, and we look forward to seeing you in 2024. 

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub at 107A - 5710 Teredo. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: [email protected] or 604-885-4088. Search our online resource directory at