Organizers of this year’s Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford are seeking new partnerships to meet the increased number of families and seniors looking for support during the holiday season.
The 10th annual event is planned for Sunday, Nov. 27 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre. The event collects toys and donations for the Christmas Bureau program of the Archway Food Bank.
Rebecca Thuro, Archway Food Bank program supervisor, said several long-term sponsors are supporting the event again but organizers are hoping to have a local organization sponsor the Teen or Seniors Tree.
“While the event highlights young children, teens and seniors are often forgotten at Christmas,” she said.
“Sponsorship really impacts our ability to have an amazing event and deliver the service our community depends on.”
Thuro said the Archway Food Bank has seen a 54 per cent increase in the number of people accessing food this year compared to the same period in 2021.
“The rising costs of food and housing have made this Christmas season especially hard for individuals to provide a gift under the tree for their children,” Thuro said.
“Last year 1,865 children received a gift that their parent or caregiver had chosen at our Toy Room which was only possible because of the 1,500 toys collected at the 2021 Toys for Tots event.
“Our shelves are pretty bare right now so we’re hoping for a big turnout at our first in-person event in three years.”
The 2020 planned drive-thru event had to be cancelled suddenly due to expanded provincial COVID health orders and the 2021 drive-thru event had a last-minute venue change due to the flooding.
“While event planning has been very challenging over the past few years, our community has always come through to make sure that that every child in Abbotsford has the opportunity to have a gift under the tree,” said Jennifer Willford, Archway philanthropy manager.
Event details, including sponsorship opportunities, can be found at AbbyToysforTots.ca. Those who can’t make the event can drop off toys at the Archway Food Bank or at drop-off locations of participating sponsors during November.