B.C. Liquor Stores are carrying on with a longstanding tradition of helping kids over the holidays.
For nearly 30 years, government liquor stores have taken part in the Share-a-Bear campaign. From now until Christmas, customers can purchase a stuffed bear to take home, for $11.70 plus tax, while its twin is donated to a local shelter, hospital or other charity to brighten the holiday season for a child.
According to the Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C. Liquor Store employees select charities in their communities that help families in need – from children's charities to shelters and hospitals – and deliver donated Share-a-Bears over the holidays. Nearly 700,000 stuffed bears have been donated to charities throughout B.C. since the program began in 1989, including 22,000 last year alone.
This year's bears come in black and white, each wearing plaid hoodies and imprinted with a maple leaf on their paw. Stores that sold the most stuffed bears last year were in Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Prince George (Pine Centre).
In many cases, customers donate both bears or make multiple purchases. Customers also have the chance to enter a draw to win a larger version of the Share-a-Bear, as two winners will be drawn at each store.
In New Westminster, B.C. Liquor Stores are located in Columbia Square (1075 Columbia St.) and Royal Square (800 McBride Blvd.).