The annual Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford takes place Friday, Nov. 27 in a different way than in years past.
The event, which collects toys and cash for the Archway Food Bank’s Christmas Bureau, normally includes a free breakfast for anyone who makes a donation. But this year it is being held as a drive-thru in the parking lot of the Clarion Hotel (former the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre) at 36025 North Parallel Rd.
Those who drop off donations from 7 to 10 a.m. will get to wave to Santa and his helpers, catch a glimpse of the Ever After Princesses, and receive a free treat bag.
“While the event has had to scale back, the spirit of the event reigns true. We’re so thankful we can still host this event as we observe all the safety protocols,” said event organizer Rebecca Thuro.
Last year’s Toys and Tots raised more than $42,000 and 1,800 toys. After a busy 2019 Christmas season, the stock of toys has dwindled, and organizers hope the event will fill the empty shelves again.
“We anticipate more families using our Christmas Bureau after a tough year,” said Dave Murray, manager of the Archway Food Bank. “We’ve already seen an increase in the number of people accessing services at the food bank and it’s anticipated that this event will make the joy of receiving a gift under the tree possible for over 1,500 children in Abbotsford.”
For those who can’t attend the event, a new way to donate has been added. There are now drop-off locations all over the city during the month of November. A map of all the drop-off locations can be found online at AbbyToysForTots.com.
After the event, the toys are brought to the Archway Christmas Bureau, where families who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to provide gifts for their children can select gifts for them.