Toys For Tots Response
From the beginning of the planning process to the eventual cancellation of Toys for Tots Drive Thru, nothing could have prepared us for this year. Planning an event during a pandemic is not for the faint of heart! Knowing that the event was a huge driving force in making Christmas possible for 1,500 children was all the motivation we needed to continue to adjust the plans as guidelines changed. It was this fact that united the volunteers, sponsors, partners, and community.
“Making Christmas possible for 1,500 children was all the motivation we needed”
Three days before the event, the provincial health order was made – all outdoor events were cancelled. Toys for Tots Drive Thru had to be cancelled. We were discouraged and not sure how we would be able to get enough toys for all the kids. As soon as we put out the word on social media, the community rallied. We were struck by how much this event meant to so many people.
“We look forward to this event every year” – said one person. “Attending this event with my family has become a part of our Christmas tradition” – said another. Social media was ablaze with support that enthusiastically drew attention to all the drop off locations.
Drop off locations were the saving grace of the event. We’re so thankful to all of the community partners that welcomed the collection of toys in their businesses – Clarion Hotel, Assante, Fraserway RV, Jags Furniture and Mattress, Prospera, Local Food Supply Co, Ledgeview Tree Farm, Hugs in a Mug Coffee Bistro and Little Oak Reality. We couldn’t have got the word out so quickly if it wasn’t for the help of our media partners – Star 98.3, Country 107.1 and Abby News, plus all the social sharing – THANK YOU!
Thank you to everyone who continued in the true spirit of the season – giving is better than receiving! With your help we raised $36,237, plus $5,000 was matched by a generous donor, and 1,812 toys were collected. We couldn’t have done it without the continued support of the businesses that had originally sponsored the event. They stuck by the event, and graciously donated their sponsorship. Thankfully, the Christmas Bureau’s shelves had toys to begin distribution on December 1st. Parents will have the ability to put a gift under the tree for their children.
Sadly, there are 2 collection shortfalls in areas all too familiar…gifts for teens and for girls between the ages of 8-12. If you have not had a chance to participate, please feel free to continue to drop off gifts at the Archway Food Bank on behalf of the Christmas Bureau. Donations can also be made at AbbyToysforTots.com
Thank you for your generous response!