Organizers for the cancelled Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford say they have been astonished by the generosity of the community.
The drive-thru event planned for Nov. 27 had to be cancelled just three days ahead due to new provincial health orders at that time.
The event, normally held as a breakfast at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre), collects toys and cash for the Archway Food Bank’s Christmas Bureau.
Despite the event cancellation, more than 1,800 toys were dropped off at the food bank and various drop-off locations at partnering businesses. Just over $41,000 in cash was raised, which included a matching $5,000 gift by an anonymous donor.
“We’re in awe at how supportive people have been even without an event to bring everyone together,” said event organizer Rebecca Thuro.
“This year’s totals almost matched last year’s numbers and will help put something under the tree for over 1,500 children.”
The 2019 Toys for Tots collected $42,000 and 1,800 toys.
Thuro said organizers especially want to thank the sponsors who continued their support even after the event was cancelled.
“Additionally, we’re so grateful for the volunteers and supporters who spread the news and gathered gifts to drop off,” she said.
For those interested in contributing, Thuro said gifts for teens are always in short supply along with gifts for girls ages eight to 12.
Toys can be dropped off at the Archway Food Bank (33914 Essendene Ave.), and donations can be made online at AbbyToysforTots.com.
The Christmas Bureau, where parents can shop for presents, opened Dec. 1 and will be open until Dec. 21.
Visit abbotsfordfoodbank.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-859-7681 (ext. 32) to register or for more information.