Volunteers load a truck full of donated items for the Boots for Kids program (pre-pandemic) in Chilliwack. The program is struggling this year due to the pandemic, and the need is greater than ever. (Video still/ Boots for Kids)

Volunteers load a truck full of donated items for the Boots for Kids program (pre-pandemic) in Chilliwack. The program is struggling this year due to the pandemic, and the need is greater than ever. (Video still/ Boots for Kids)

Boots for Kids needs support to continue supporting Chilliwack youth

Pandemic has affected the bottom line for integral giving program relied upon by Chilliwack parents

It’s been a difficult year, and many charitable initiatives have been impacted.

That includes the Boots for Kids program, which puts winter boots on the feet that need them.

Justin Mallard, program organizer, says he’s already heard directly from parents requesting to be included and worried that the program may not run.

They are counting on the help that Boots for Kids offers, to free up income for things like rent, food and electricity.

Mallard says Chilliwack has been so generous in the past that they’ve never had a problem filling every request for footwear. The same goes for the similar backpack program, and the Coats for Kids program that he organizes.

But this year is different in so many ways.

“Times are really tight,” he said.

So, he is pleased that Browns Socialhouse partnered with them again this year for a special gift-card fundraiser. From now until Dec. 30, gift cards for Browns are going to be for sale at Murray Honda. They are available in $50 and $100 denominations.

And for every card sold, half will go directly to Boots for Kids program. The cards can be used at the Eagle Landing or McCallum locations.

“We’ve got a generous community,” he said, and he’s feeling optimistic. He’s never had to turn down a family before, and doesn’t want to. Especially not in 2020.

Another major supporter of the program is the Chilliwack Canadian Tire. But there are 26 other local partners working to make this year’s Boot for Kids happen.

And there is also Gaye Bailey, who brought in 300 handmade toques that are sitting in quarantine and waiting to be given out with the boots.

“We have a mandate that no child will ever be missed, and so far we have been able to hold true to that mandate,” Mallard said.

The program also serves students in the Fraser Cascade school district, which includes Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and Boston Bar.

To help get boots on kids feet this winter, pickup your certificates at Murray Honda Chilliwack, open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by Dec 30. Contact Justin for pickup outside these hours, by emailing justin.mallard@murrayhonda.ca.

READ MORE: Boots For Kids warms children’s feet and hearts from Chilliwack to Boston Bar


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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