Realtor Chace Whitson, left, and builder Carson Shanks, delivered $2,000 in toys to Carey Salvador at the Mary Winspear Centre for the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers toy drive in 2017. The pair purchased the gifts from Buddies Toys in Sidney and challenge their counterparts to do the same or better this season. (Peninsula News Review file photo)

Santa’s Helpers kick off toy drive Monday in Sidney

Donors across the Peninsula help about 300 families have a happy holidays

Peninsula Santa’s Helpers annual holiday toy drive campaign kicks off Monday.

Donors across the region help about 300 families have a happy holiday, with gifts under the tree, says Carey Salvador, an organizer with the campaign – a partnership between the Mary Winspear Centre and Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank and Sidney Kiwanis.

“They’ve been doing it with the food bank for many years,” says Salvador, who started as a volunteer gift wrapper in 2014. “That’s how I became involved, and the following year they were looking for a more permanent home.”

The Peninsula Santa’s Helpers collect new unwrapped toys for ages 6 months to 16 years, gift certificates and monetary donations. Gifts can be dropped off between Nov. 20 and Dec. 17 at the Mary Winspear Centre, Buddies Toys, and the Peninsula News Review.

READ ALSO: Exclusive interview with Santa Claus (2017)

Recipients receive a large, medium and stocking stuffers per youth.

“We love getting books and mittens and socks,” Salvador says. “They register through the food bank so we know ahead of time how many gifts we need and what ages.”

From Nov. 19 to Dec. 17 they’ll update Facebook routinely on the most-needed gifts.

“As gifts come in we update what we need,” Salvador said, noting older children are always a challenge to buy for. They recommend gift cards for local business. One way they purchase toys required, aside from cash donations, is as the recipient of the donations made to Coins for Kids, a fundraising initiative of the Peninsula News Review. Citizens can donate spare change at the Peninsula News Review or in a Coins for Kids collection box found at multiple locations throughout the Peninsula.

RELATED: Peninsula Santa’s Helpers get $2,000 toy donation (2017)

For more on collecting toys, volunteering or donating, contact Salvador at 250-656-0275 or email info@marywinspear.ca.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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