Leah Smith and Laura Mckee during Smith’s annual toy drive, Dec. 16. (Jesse Laufer/News staff )

Oak Bay teen collects more than 1,000 toys for those in need

Student seeks someone to take over drive next year

Leah Smith’s toy drive broke the record it set last year.

During her two-day drive, the Oak Bay teen gathered 1,128 toys, which she dropped off at the Stan Hagen Centre for Families Dec. 17.

“It was a bit of an operation,” Smith said. “We were able to fit it in to two cars, definitely more than last year. Fortunately we were able to pack it really tightly with a bunch of stuff strapped onto the roof.”

READ ALSO: Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Because her toy drive also takes used gifts, Smith goes through everything to make sure it’s in good condition. She said some board games were missing a few too many pieces, but that 95 per cent of what was donated went to the Stan Hagen Centre. Residents also donated seven gift cards Smith says are worth about $150, and a little over $200 in cash.

“Because of the recent theft from the centre, we definitely had a bit more sympathy,” Smith said. “It inspired more to come out and to come together as a community to support something that a really great cause.”

READ MORE: Oak Bay teen targets 1,000 toys

She’s looking to try and pass the torch to someone else, but because she might move away for university next year this could be the last year for her toy drive – at least in Oak Bay. Smith says it takes about a month of planning to pull off a successful toy drive. In the meantime, she’s just thankful that this year went so successfully.

“Even if it seems like it’s such a small donation, it really does make a big difference. I’m really thankful for everyone who was able to come out and support anyway they could.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

Langford Legion gives the gift of tech to elementary school

Savory donation of $2,680 funds four Chromebooks and two iPad minis

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read