The seventh annual Toys for Tots Breakfast last Friday (Nov. 22) raised over $42,000 and almost 1,800 toys for the Christmas Bureau program of the Archway Food Bank.
The event – held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre – set an attendance record, with 2,400 people dropping off toy and cash donations and enjoying a free buffet breakfast.
“It’s such an incredible feeling seeing the community band together to make Christmas magical by bringing gifts for those in need,” said event organizer Rebecca Thuro.
“Over 1,600 children in Abbotsford will have a better Christmas because of this.”
Entertainment included comedian Cliff Prang, a photo booth, a visit from Santa, and live Christmas music featuring the MEI Chamber Singers, Coalmont, Ryan McAllister, Travis Thuro, Caleb Van Der Leek and the Ever After Character Company.
After the event, the toys were brought to the Archway Christmas Bureau of Abbotsford, where families in need can select gifts for their children. This year, the Christmas Bureau toy shop location is being hosted by Solid Rock Church.
In addition to the free toy shop, some families and seniors are matched with individuals and groups in the community that provide gifts and dinner supplies for Christmas directly to the family in need.
“No matter what challenges someone is facing, we want to make sure they know that people care about them at Christmas and throughout the year,” said Dave Murray, manager of the Archway Food Bank.
Those interested in supporting a family or senior can apply at AbbotsfordFoodBank.com/Christmas by Dec. 10.
Those in need of help can contact the Archway Food Bank (33914 Essendene Ave., phone 604-859-7814) or apply for help online at AbbotsfordFoodBank.com/need-food/#Christmas