Running through Dec. 24, Sevenoaks’ 12th annual event invites businesses and community organizations to sponsor and decorate a tree. All proceeds go to the Abbotsford Police Foundation, celebrating 15 years of supporting Abbotsford PD, which itself marks 25 years this year, notes the Foundation’s Sandy Blue.
Trees of Hope couldn’t have come at a better time. Like many non-profit organizations, 2020 has brought unique challenges for the Foundation, not only in terms of hosting events like the Abby PD’s City Basketball Tournament and connecting with the community, but in fundraising.
“Because of COVID, a lot of our more significant events were not possible this year, and we weren’t able to do our usual fundraising, so we were thrilled when we were chosen to be the recipient of the Trees of Hope,” Blue says.
Over the past 11 years, Trees of Hope has raised more than $100,000 for local charities, and this year Sevenoaks aims to raise $8,000 to help the Foundation continue funding vital programs and resources not covered by the regular budget of the AbbyPD.
Reducing crime + building community
Established in 2005, the charitable organization Abbotsford Police Foundation funds Police Department’s community programs and specialized equipment purchases. While the department cannot directly receive financial contributions, the Foundation is a trusted, practical way to help support the work of AbbyPD members and enhance public safety.
In addition to Youth Making Positive Choices, engaging and empowering youth to make positive life choices, regular events include the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament, an annual city-wide basketball tournament that encourages youth to make positive choices by participating in sport, and Abbotsford Police Camp, a week-long day camp giving kids ages 6 to 10 the chance to interact with police and learn basic police skills and responsibilities.
The Foundation also supports the AbbyPD K9 program, purchasing four canine Kevlar protective vests and launching K9 Retirement Program to help defray costs for veterinary, food and insurance for the retired police service dogs.
The Foundation also purchases specialty equipment that fall outside of the department’s operating budget, such as an aerial drone that provides a bird’s-eye view of scenes police may not otherwise be able to see, an ATV Gator, providing access to otherwise inaccessible locations, and a training simulator allowing officers to train for real-life scenarios in a simulated environment. This year, they also supported the AbbyPD grant funding request to restore a vintage police cruiser.
Cast your vote for your favourite tree
View the brilliantly decorated Trees of Hope through Christmas Eve at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre and online. And don’t forget to select your top three favourites. The People’s Choice winner will be announced after the holidays in the Abbotsford News!
To learn more about the Abbotsford Police Foundation, visit abbypf.ca and stay up to date on Facebook! View and view and vote for your favourite tree at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre or online at shopsevenoaks.com