An Abbotsford youth centre still needs to raise $75,000 to reach the goal for its Christmas fundraising campaign.
Cyrus Centre, located at 2616 Ware St., is aiming to collect $100,000 this season. Director Les Talvio said that amount will enable the facility to maintain its services for at-risk homeless youth and their families for 2012.
These offerings include four emergency-shelter beds, 10 extreme-weather beds, a resource centre, counselling, family support, employment coaching and meals.
Talvio said the centre’s numbers have stayed consistent over the past year, with 30 to 50 youth using services each day, and about 1,500 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) provided each month.
The centre is open 24 hours every day of the year for youth 18 years old and under.
“We’re the only ones doing this out here.
“There are no other youth shelters (in the area),” Talvio said, adding that the next closest one is in Maple Ridge.
He said although youth from other communities visit Cyrus Centre, about 90 per cent are from Abbotsford. They are reunited with their families wherever possible.
“Our goal is to see the families restored,” Talvio said.
Cyrus Centre works closely with the Salvation Army and the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank/Christmas Bureau, especially at this time of year.
The centre hosts a Christmas Day dinner, at which some gifts are provided. Food hampers and other items are distributed through the other agencies, depending on which service is most applicable to the youths’ needs.
Talvio said the community has been a huge supporter of the centre.
“Abbotsford has shown, year after year, that they are a city that cares. We are so blessed to be part of this community.”
As part of its fundraising campaign, Cyrus Centre is taking part in the “Raising the Roof” homeless initiative. This involves the public purchasing a specially designed toque for a minimum $10 donation. All funds raised in Abbotsford stay in the community.
The centre is also requesting donations of hoodies, gloves, fast food gift cards, office supplies/gift cards, hot chocolate, sugar and powdered coffee creamer.
For more information about Cyrus Centre or to make a donation, visit cyruscentre.com or call 604-859-5773.