Photo © Courtesy of Toys for Tots Canada
By Allie Murray
While Christmas is seen as the season of joy, gift giving, and time with loved ones, the holiday season can be just the opposite for low-income families.
Widely recognized as the season of giving, Canadians step up year after year to support families in need—including the volunteers at Toys for Tots Canada.
Toys for Tots Canada gives toys to children in low-income families at Christmas time—accepting donations of toys in London, Toronto, and the Greater Toronto Area. The Canadian charity works through a partnership with veterans and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces to provide toys to children in need, as well as partnering with the Senate of Canada to be able to support as many Canadians as possible.
“We work to address and prevent specific problems faced by families and their supporting charity organizations by providing toys to children who would otherwise go without during a major religious holiday and provide toys throughout the calendar year to local emergency and social agencies to distribute to children during catastrophic circumstances,” President Robert Krizanec explained.
During the 2021 Christmas season, Toys for Tots Canada donated more than 5,000 toy hampers to children across the country—including in the GTA and remote Indigenous communities such as Fort Smith and Aklavi in Northwest Territories, and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut.
This year, the team is working towards donating to children in Halifax, Ottawa, and Indigenous communities in addition to London and the Greater Toronto Area.
Donations are accepted at the beginning of December at Toys for Tots Canada’s retail partners in their partnered communities. The team accepts donations right up to December 23 to ensure that every child on their list gets a gift. However, the sooner toys are donated, the faster they can deliver to children in need.
Donations can be made in London, Toronto, and Ottawa at a variety of retail locations. In addition to toy donations, the charity accepts monetary donations year round, which aid them in their work during the holiday season.
The organization is completely volunteer-run and they rely on their team of volunteers to organize, sort, and deliver toy hampers to families. The toys are sorted according to age and gender, which are packed into hampers consisting of about five gifts in each.
Last Christmas, Toys for Tots Canada worked with a variety of media partners, including CTV London, who hosted an event called One Stop Holiday Drop where they accepted donations for the charity.
“Every contribution helps, small or large,” the team shared on social media. “There are several ways to help ensure every family in need has gifts for their children over the holidays.”
Toys for Tots Canada accepts donations of new, unwrapped toys for kids aged newborn to 14.
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