Vernon REALTORS® bring smiles to 250 children and $800 to charities

(Submitted photo)

More than 250 children experienced the joy of giving this holiday season through Children’s Gift House. They lined up to purchase kitchen gadgets, costume jewelry, candles, wallets and other accessories to give to the important adults in their lives. Well over 1,000 items were donated by generous people in the community and could be purchased by the children for as little as five cents to as much as $1.

Their purchases raised more than $800 for local charities.

“We had 50 to 60 volunteers helping the little shoppers find their perfect gift,” says Tara Sopel, Office Administrator with Sutton Group–Lakefront Realty in Vernon, British Columbia. “We had wrapping stations set up so after the kids selected their items, they could have it wrapped for the big day. Everyone had a fun time helping the little ones!”

Tara was among a group of enthusiast volunteers from Sutton Group–Lakefront Realty who came to support families in need as well as their colleague, REALTOR® Sandra Bradley.

Sandra started the Children’s Christmas Workshop in 2006 with the help of the RedHead Real Estate team. They wanted to give back to the community and assist those less fortunate. The event has grown to feature mountains of gifts and dozens of volunteers. In 2018 Sandra handed this event to the Realtors® at Sutton Group Lakefront Realty.

“The volunteers made this event happen and I am happy to say they had as much fun as the kids,” says Sandra. “Smiles everywhere.”

The 2 months leading up to the event are busy with promoting, coordinating donations, sorting and setting up the donations getting ready for the kids to do their Christmas shopping!

Sutton Group Lakefront Realty is very grateful to all the volunteers and organizations such as; We Care Home Health Services; Brown’s Social House, which donates ginger bread making kits; the North Okanagan Optimist Club and the crew at Home Building Center for their continued support.


This story was adapted – with permission – from one originally featured on the Sutton Spirit website. The Sutton Spirit program recognizes Sutton associates across Canada that improve and enhance the lives of the people around them.

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