Great Nanaimo Toy Drive helping hundreds of families in need this holiday season

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
November 15, 2018 - 3:39pm Updated: November 15, 2018 - 5:12pm

Santa got into the gift giving spirit early, making some of the first donations to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

This is the 36th annual Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — It's hoped 700 families in need this Christmas will have toys under their trees.

The 36th annual Great Nanaimo Toy Drive officially kicked off Thursday with the first donations of toys at Woodgrove Shopping Centre. For the rest of the holiday season until Dec. 15, toys can be dropped off in donation bins across Nanaimo at shopping malls, fire stations, the museum and Coastal Community Credit Unions.

Toys can also be donated at the NanaimoNewsNOW office.

Toy Drive spokesperson Carolyn Iles said community spirit is higher than ever this year and everyone is doing what they can to make 2018 a holly-jolly year for everyone.

“People try to find a way to help, even if they don't have a lot of money. Seniors, for example, want children to have books to read so they'll go to Value Village on seniors day and buy low-cost books.”

Iles said they expect to help roughly 700 families this year, up from a slight dip in numbers from 2016.

"A lot of young families are working two jobs, or maybe even three and that money goes to their rent and food. This is an opportunity for them to have a little bit under the tree.”

Parents can register to receive gifts from the Great Canadian Toy Drive at Loaves and Fishes Depots from Nov. 19 to Dec. 1. Registration will also be open from Dec. 3 to Dec. 7 at the University Village Shopping Centre.

Toys will be handed out to registered parents on Dec. 17 and 18.


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