The SHARE food bank, which plans to distribute Christmas hampers to 1,800 individuals and families in the Tri-Cities this holiday season, has issued an urgent plea for donations as it struggles to fill its shelves.
If you'd like to help, many local businesses and community organizations are hosting special events or offering other ways to contribute.
Here is a list of upcoming events: . Cyclone Taylor Sports' second-annual SHARE fundraiser - the goal is to beat last year's results of $1,500 and 100 pounds of food. Drop by with your donations and help them make their goal. Plus, enter a raffle to win an autographed Kevin Bieksa Vancouver Canucks jersey. Raffle tickets are available at the store for $5 each, or three for $10. All money raised goes to SHARE's food bank. Tickets will be sold until the draw date on Dec. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1020 Austin Ave. in Coquitlam.
. Mr. Mike's Toy Drive - this is the restaurant's fifth-annual toy drive. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for SHARE's toy hamper program and receive a free appetizer through Dec. 24 (after 5 p.m.), at 32-2991 Lougheed Hwy. in Coquitlam.
. Safeway's holiday food bank hamper drive - the next time you're shopping at Safeway, look for pre-packaged $5 and $10 Christmas hampers, and purchase them for SHARE's food bank. You can buy them at checkout stands and receive 10 Air Miles for a $10 hamper purchase. This promotion runs through Dec. 15 at all three Safeway locations in the Tri-Cities.
. Gift Wrap and SHARE tree at Coquitlam Centre - have your gifts wrapped at Coquitlam Centre in return for a donation to SHARE's Christmas programs. You can also leave a new, unwrapped toy under the tree for a local child whose parents cannot afford to buy Christmas gifts. Last year, 2,215 children and youth received SHARE's Christmas hampers. This program runs through Dec. 24 during mall hours. The gift wrap booth and SHARE tree are located on the upper level in front of the old Zellers store.
. Choose Your Own Xmas Adventure - Second Storey Theatre presents a special fundraising improv comedy show. The show is designed by the audience - from the characters actors play to the decisions they make. Help them put together a Christmas play while supporting the food bank. Bring non-perishables or cash donations and be entered into a prize draw. This event runs on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 15. Tickets are $8 for children, $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults. Shows run at 3 p.m. on Saturdays (children's matinees) and 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (all-ages shows). Second Storey Theatre is located at 201-2550 Shaughnessy St. in PoCo (above Dairy Queen).
If you cannot attend any of these events, there are other ways to give:
You can donate food directly to SHARE's food bank at 2615 Clarke St. in Port Moody (in the back of the building) or at any local grocery store in the Tri-Cities.
If you wish to give a financial donation, call 604-540-9161 or visit www.sharesociety.ca.
To find out what the most urgently needed food items are, as well as to see the Christmas toy hamper wish-list, visit www.sharesociety. ca.
"We have been working hard and are thankful for the many volunteers that have come on board to help us this year," SHARE CEO Martin Wyant said in a news release.
"We are also hopeful that we will see donations of food and funds coming in soon."