Christmas tree forest in Victoria raising funds for children’s mental health programs

Festival of Trees, on now through Jan. 4 at The Bay Centre, celebrates its 30th year

To support mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital, Amica Douglas House purchased a $1,000 tree and spent an evening decorating for the Festival of Trees, on through Jan. 4 at The Bay Centre in Victoria. (Courtesy Amica Douglas House)

To support mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital, Amica Douglas House purchased a $1,000 tree and spent an evening decorating for the Festival of Trees, on through Jan. 4 at The Bay Centre in Victoria. (Courtesy Amica Douglas House)

The Bay Centre’s transformation into a forest of decorated Christmas trees continues into January with the fundraiser for children’s health celebrating its 30th year.

The Festival of Trees raises funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation at the Victoria shopping centre this season, and all proceeds this year go towards mental health programs at BC Children’s.

Funds support the Centre for Mindfulness that helps youth, families, caregivers and health professionals develop skills to manage stress and anxiety, making a significant difference in their lives.

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The aim of mindfulness is to help patients and families learn ways to focus and calm their minds and live in the present moment with compassion for themselves, according to program information. This helps them better manage difficult thoughts and feelings which can play an important role in their healing journey. Mindfulness skills have been shown to help people cope with chronic stress, pain and mood symptoms.

Three trees fill levels two and three for viewing daily until Jan. 4 during Bay Centre hours. The mall is closed Christmas and New Year’s days.

Those looking to support from afar can visit bcchf.ca for a virtual tour of the trees and find an online donation option.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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