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The Season of Giving is Very Much Alive in Surrey



By Lacey Polack

It’s the holiday season. It’s a time for love, family and giving to a cause close to the heart. Local organizations are in full swing to make sure someone’s life and Christmas is a little brighter. With the many organizations throughout Surrey, here are just a few that you can contribute to help make a difference today.

The Surrey Christmas Bureau is a volunteer-run non-profit, charitable organization that works year-round to make sure the children of low-income families in Surrey have a memorable Christmas. From toys to stocking stuffers and even grocery cards, the amazing work this organization does for the community makes a world of difference. Last year alone, the bureau helped nearly 2000 families, with over 4000 children.

“It’s about having something to give and to share and spending quality time with your family.” said the bureau’s executive director, Lisa Werring.

The Bureau also provides Adopt-A-Family, a program that matches individuals, businesses, and other organizations with a family in need that has children under the age of 18. Each year they seek support from 1,000 sponsors so that every family and child in Surrey can celebrate Christmas.

The bureau is currently in great need for toys for Boys & Girls 10-12 such as Lego sets, Shopkins and arts & crafts supplies. Toys are also needed for Teen Ages 13-18 years such gift certificates to movie theatres, video games and stocking stuffer items. For a full list of items check out The Surrey Christmas Bureau’s Facebook page.

You can donate funds or unwrapped toys at their seasonal Toy Depot (Nov-Dec) at 6878 King George Blvd. (in the same complex as Pine Lighting on the south side of the building) or at Surrey Fire Halls. Financial donations are always greatly appreciated because it helps in purchasing the grocery gift cards for the families each year. If you’re looking to make an online donation visit their website:

For the latest updates, check out the Surrey Christmas Bureau’s facebook page:

Black Dog Rescue Society of BC in Surrey is a non-profit rescue group of volunteers based in Canada and Texas. For the past five years they have been saving dogs and puppies from high-kill shelters in Texas. Last year alone, they were able to save over 100 dogs from being euthanized. When you’re looking at getting a dog don’t go to a breeder, go to a shelter or rescue. Breeders play a huge role in the amount of dogs left in shelters. “They breed them and breed them and when they’re not these cute little things anymore, they dump them in the shelters or in the fields or they take them to the shelter to have them euthanized because they’re no good to them anymore.” says Founder, Cindy Archer. Black Dog Rescue Society’s “passion is to save dogs and place them in loving homes.” To see just how happy the dogs are to finally be adopted and find their forever home look for “Happy Tails”, both on their website and Facebook page.

Black Dog Rescue Society of BC

Jacks, Canine Rescue | Photo Courtesy of Black Dog Rescue Society

Black Dog Rescue Society goes “the extra mile to ensure that all dogs and puppies are healthy before being adopted. All dogs and puppies are vet checked before being transported and once again before being adopted.

They are also fully vaccinated, microchipped plus spayed / neutered.” If you’re unable to adopt, Cindy says, “Foster families are always needed. People that are willing to open up their homes from 3 weeks to 3 months.”

If you wish to donate and help contribute to finding forever homes for dogs in need this holiday season, you can donate to the Apollo Animal Hospital in Cloverdale under the name Black Dog Rescue or on the Black Dog Rescue website. The rescue is always in need of exercise pens for puppies, toys, harnesses, leashes and collars.

Gideon, Canine Rescue | Photo courtesy of Black Dog Rescue Society

For the latest updates, including dogs that are available for adoption visit their Facebook page: and for foster and adoption applications visit:

Lacey is an ambitious person who has plans for world domination (that's what it says on the front of her notebook anyway). She is passionate about social media, storytelling and connecting people. She loves to spend time in nature and learning about historic unsolved mysteries. In 2017, she graduated with her diploma at BCIT for Radio Arts & Entertainment.

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Perminder Chohan Foundation – Making the Holiday Season Better



As the holiday season comes to an end with the arrival of 2020, everyone should be able to find some food and warmth in the upcoming winter months of the new year. With this intention at heart, the Perminder Chohan Foundation organized multiple events in the days leading to Christmas – a food drive, a blanket drive, and a scrumptious lunch was organized for the less fortunate.

The food and blanket drives – were the second for the Foundation set up by B.C. philanthropist and businessman, Perminder Chohan. The community and Mr. Chohan’s friends came out to support the charitable events. All canned and non-perishable items collected at the Food Drive held in November were donated to the Surrey Food Bank.

The Foundations Blanket Drive was held on December 15th and more than 250 new blankets were donated. All blankets will be further donated to shelters in the Lower Mainland. The Foundation also sponsored and served lunch at the First United Church in Vancouver on December 16th, over 200 plated lunches were served.Mr. Chohan, the Managing Director of Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network – BC set up the Foundation to provide adequate education, proper healthcare and everyday living needs for the people who need it the most.

For more information or to make a Donation to the Perminder Chohan Foundation, please visit

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World Mental Health Day – Portraits



My Name Is Desiré Amouzou, and I am a Producer and Photojournalist for I love working with Surrey604 a growing and developing grassroots magazine about Surrey and beyond.

Like any new endeavour it has its challenges though, and for me that challenge hasn’t been being part of a relatively new magazine but my personal struggles with my Mental Health, in particular my struggle with Depression.

Some days are great and some days it’s an all out battle to maintain balance. Throughout, I’ve been shown love and care and respect by friends, colleagues and even at times total strangers, and I try to do the same in return on every occasion.

At the same time I’ve also been exposed to the Stigma and Judgment attached to Mental Illnesses, especially as a Visible Minority and as nice as I am when people get to know me, still my height and size can be off putting to some at first glance.

That’s why I am choosing to support this months World Mental Health Day on October 10th.


To help educate while doing something that I love, that helps me feel amazing and helps connect with people and make them feel awesome. Just like my true friends have done for me….I am forever indebted to them.

To support this day I am offering, from now till October 10th, along with any photographer who might join me, to anyone and everyone,

1. mini 30 minute portrait session for $50, which gives you 3 portraits in 24 hours for you to chose and the rest to purchase. 30% of the profits of each shoot goes to a non-for profit organization that supports men’s mental health awareness, diagnosis and treatment.

After the 10th I will continue till November by donating 20% of all my bookings, whether portraits or videography or corporate or creative projects.

I have set a goal of $1000 donated by October 10th. Thus far I’ve  secured $250 in bookings .

Book me now by either emailing me at

Or phone call at 1-604-799-3757

I will be in SFU and Surrey Central area as well as the vancouver library on October 10th running a full day push on portraits and donations to the cause.

Subscribe to my Instagram Page below for updates on all my projects.

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Holly Elementary Gains Meal Program Funding With Donation From Great Clips



Great Clips continues back-to-school donations with over $33,000 CAD
check presented at school event

Local elementary school students will be better set up for success in the classroom at Holly Elementary thanks to a donation from Great Clips, Inc. The world’s largest salon brand, Great Clips® is donating to deserving schools across the U.S. and Canada as part of its Back-to-School campaign. This morning, Holly Elementary in Surrey, British Columbia received an over $33,000 CAD donation to help support the school’s meal program.

Holly Elementary Principal Andrew Shook shared that the donation will fund their breakfast and lunch meal programs. The breakfast and lunch programs respectively serve over 70 and 350 students each school day. The school has seen significant increases in grades and attendance among students since the meal program was implemented, and the donation will also support field trips for students.

Great Clips visited the school today to deliver supplies and Monster Jam® driver Cam McQueen met with students to get them excited for the school year. Great Clips, Inc. presented the check to Principal Shook.

“Children without a filling, nutritious breakfast and lunch end up thinking more about their hunger than anything else, so their learning and growth suffers,” said Surrey Board of Education chairwoman Laurie Larsen. “Our board needs and is grateful for community partners like Great Clips who provide such important support for children and our Holly Elementary community.”

“As students return to school, Great Clips is proud to give back to deserving schools and support programs across the U.S. and Canada,” said Great Clips franchisee and Vancouver co-op president Keith Chalmers. “We’re honoured to be able to help Holly Elementary students reach success in and out of the classroom.”

For the second consecutive year, Great Clips and Monster Jam are supporting schools and communities across the United States and Canada with donations that can be used for supplies, enrichment programming or other critical needs. In July, Great Clips pledged to donate $1 to schools for every download of the Great Clips Online Check-In app from August 1 through September 8 with the goal of donating $400,000 USD. For more information about Great Clips’ Back-to-School campaign, visit

About Great Clips, Inc.

Great Clips, Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis. Today, Great Clips has over 4,400 salons throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips is 100 percent franchised, and salons are owned locally by more than 1,200 franchisees across North America. Great Clips franchisees employ nearly 40,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn the Great Clips customer care system and advanced technical skills. As a walk-in salon, Great Clips provides value-priced, high-quality haircare for men, women and children. Getting a great haircut at Great Clips is more convenient than ever with Online Check-In and Clip Notes®. To check-in online, visit or download the free app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit

About Monster Jam

Monster Jam® features world-class male and female athletes competing in the same events for the same championships on the same perfectly engineered dirt tracks that push these ever-evolving, state-of-the-art trucks to the limit. Beyond live events, the Monster Jam brand extends off the track into the home through products, content and merchandise that keeps the fun alive year-round. For more information, visit

About Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, Jurassic World Live Tour and DreamWorks Trolls The Experience. Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit for more information.

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CLOVERDALE, BC: The Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation is encouraging local charitable organizations and not-for-profit groups to submit applications for financial support.

“Our organization is looking for worthy applicants to submit an online grant application for consideration of financial support,” says Foundation Chair Nicole Reader. “In particular, we are encouraging organizations that are youth focused and located in British Columbia, with funds being applied to lower Fraser Valley youth initiatives.”

Applications will be considered by the organizations Board of Directors based on the criteria outlined on the Foundation website. To learn more about the grant opportunities or the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation visit:

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2018 KidsPlay & Wake Up Surrey Drug & Gang Forum Shares the Grim Realities of Gangster Life



KidsPlay and Wake Up Surrey have partnered in a forum that will be discussing the dangers of drug and gang culture in Surrey on November 25th. The forum will be taking place at the Royal King Banquet Hall between 12 pm and 3 pm. The event is free, being open to the entire public. KidsPlay will be distributing $1000 in scholarships to any students attending.

The forum aims to teach parents and their kids the dangers of the drug and gang lifestyle through keynote speakers who have been involved in said lifestyle, followed by a Q & A segment where the audience can ask questions. Gurpreet Singh Sahota, head of Wake Up Surrey, said, “how can we stop bullying in schools?

How can we educate would be gangsters? How can we educate kids about role modelling and mentorships? Through people who have done good in academics or in sports. Don’t look at gangsters, that’s not the right choice.”

One of the speakers at the forum, Shenan Charania, was involved in a gang for about 10 years. Charania wants to do more than explain the dangers of drugs and gangs but wants to expose the entire lifestyle, while allowing for youth to make their own decisions. Charania will be doing this through sharing personal experiences from his youth.

“If you join a gang you become incapable of joining a civilized society. When I got out it took me so long. The hardest thing, among so many of the difficult things I had to learn, the hardest for me was to learn how to assimilate myself back into a civilized society and behave like a regular person,” said Charania.

KidsPlay CEO and member of the VPD, Kal Dosanj founded KidsPlay after noticing how easily children were entering the drug and gang lifestyle. Dosanj said, “I just thought that if at some juncture we were to intervene and provide kids with mentorships, guidance, coaching, love and support, and programming maybe they would deter from that path, maybe change their trajectory all together.”

Dosanj hopes to provide sports programming and extracurricular activities to children across the lower mainland regardless of their socio-economic status. While KidsPlay operates all across the lower-mainland the organization does have a focus on Surrey.

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