The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society is doing better than expected with its donations after bracing for a $250,000 donation shortfall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo: Dylan Van Rooyen)

DONATIONS

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

The Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society is learning how to adapt in this new COVID-19 era.

Charitable society board director Dylan Van Rooyen said the society will have to modify “to continue the momentum that we have.”

Earlier on in the pandemic, Van Rooyen said the society was looking at up to a $250,000 donation shortfall as a “worst-case budget.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society looking at up to $250K-donation shortfall amid COVID-19, May 18, 2020

At the time, Van Rooyen said the society is “very event-based,” with their strength in hosting events “that people want to come to where we can get them to part with the money and then donate it to a good cause.”

A few events had to be cancelled, but the society looked at ways to modify other events while also coming up with new fundraising initiatives.

And with that, he said the society has “almost caught back up.”

On a yearly basis, Van Rooyen said, the society donates about $1 million back into the community.

READ ALSO: Surrey firefighters reach $1-million milestone in giving, Dec. 14, 2018

In total, that’s about 50 groups and 86 initiatives that benefit from the society.

“It’s way better than we were expecting,” Van Rooyen noted, adding that they got some personal donations in addition to their new initiatives.

“We’re still definitely short of what we were in years past in our event cancellations, but with some of those donations and the raffle one was a new one for us, the mask was a new one for us, I would say, to date, we’ve almost caught back up.”

One of the new initiatives was a vehicle raffle, in partnership with Surrey Honda, which donated a 2020 CRV to the charitable society. The goal was to raise $100,000 by selling 5,000 tickets before the July 1 deadline; 4,000 of the tickets were sold by early May.

READ ALSO: Surrey firefighters society donates to youth mental health program, with help of vehicle raffle, May 8, 2020

Another initiative was mask sales.

“We ordered 500 thinking we’d maybe sell a couple hundred and maybe have some extra on hand and we sold out the 500 in, I think, two days. That one took off on us for sure.”

Van Rooyen said that generated about $10,000, and the society is still getting calls about masks.

The charitable society is planning to sell more masks, but at its Community Thrift Store that it runs in partnership with the Surrey Hospice Society.

“It was a little hard to manage because of the demand and we sold out quickly and the emails started flooding in. We’re actually going to place an order and get some more masks logo’d and we’re going to sell them in person at our thrift store, explained Van Rooyen.

“The idea is, one, we’re still selling the mask, but two, if we can generate some more foot traffic into our thrift store, so the customers who may never have walked in or may not have ever realized we have that store there.”

He said the hope is to generate some additional revenue for the thrift store, which was closed for about three months at the start of the pandemic.

Van Rooyen previously told the Now-Leader that the store, located at 7138 King George Blvd. in Newton, usually brings in about $100,000 for the two societies, so the closure was a hard hit.

It has since reopened, which he said was “a big one for us.”

“The first day was $2,400 in sales, which is typically special event kind of revenue generator there. Obviously it was a special event considering the store had been closed for three months.”

Looking ahead, the society is focused on its upcoming charity golf tournament in September and to the boot drive in the fall.

READ ALSO: Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society modifies annual golf tournament for COVID-19, July 31, 2020

“Initially, we said if we could make $10,000 out of the $100,000 that we usually make, that’s $10,000 we don’t have. It looks like we’re on track to probably come in around $75,000. That is $25,000 less, but again, at one point when we spoke there, it almost looked like that was going to be a zero.”

Meantime, people can donate to the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society through its website, surreyfirefighters.com/charitablesociety.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

charityCharity and DonationsSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

Surrey RCMP say a 30-year-old man was arrested and later charged following a traffic stop in Whalley. (Phil McLachlan photo)
Surrey RCMP say man charged after using allegedly stolen ID in traffic stop

Police say they found ‘stolen credit card data, lock picks, demagnetization devices’

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

Most Read