With Santa Claus touring hospitals around the Lower Mainland to cheer up sick kids, someone else had to fill in for Saint Nick.
That somebody would be Cliff Power.
Instead of travelling around with a herd of reindeer, Power just needed a few volunteers.
He did have his own original quirk, arriving in a pink firetruck.
“It’s the first time I’ve driven that,” said Power. “She’s quite the ride.”
Power started the holiday activity in Victoria, where he lives, 20 years ago. In his first year of giving, he started out with 25 stockings, giving them out to the homeless. As the years went by, he steadily saw that total rise throughout the years.
“We started with 25, then next year we went to 50, then 150, then 300,” he said. “Now, we give out 1,600 stockings, which is a blast but we get them done.”
“We deliver them all over the place.”
It’s all in a day’s work for Power, who took the ferry over from Victoria this morning to visit an elementary school in Langley, followed by a visit to a townhouse complex in Surrey.
Extreme Outreach Society donated about 300 stocking to elementary school kids in Langley today, followed by a donation of about 100 stockings to a Newton residential complex.
As the program started to grow, Power had the idea of branching out beyond Victoria. He got in touch with the Rick’s Heart Foundation and ended up coming over here to donate more stockings than ever before.
Power even mailed 100 stockings up to a community in the Yukon earlier today as well.
While Power and the Extreme Reach organization primarily focus on helping out children who are living in poverty, they also focus helping those who are in shelters, detox, or on the streets.
The stockings handed out today were all of about $20 value. They contained hygiene products, clothing, toys, books, games, and hard handy.
Power and his team collected stocking and donations on the island throughout November and December before making the trip out to Surrey.
He’s thrilled with the progress and growth of the program, and plans to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a way to give hope,” he said. “It seems like a small thing, but when you do something like that for somebody, it goes a long ways.”