UXBRIDGE: Starting this week, Uxbridge residents can do their part in ensuring that all local residents have a happy holiday season with the return of the Uxbridge Community Toy Drive.
Spearheaded by Canadian Tire owner/operator Pat Higgins, the Toy Drive began 15 years ago with four locations collecting toys, and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since.
This year, local residents will be able to make donations at several locations around Uxbridge, including: Canadian Tire, Zehrs, WalMart, McDonald’s, Little Acorn and M&M Meats. As well, donation bins will be placed at Uxbridge Arena and Uxpool starting on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Mr. Higgins noted that the Toy Drive will be hitting the ground running this year, thanks to the past generosity of the Uxbridge community.
"We’re off to a great start this year, and already have donations rolling in," Mr. Higgins said during a kick-off event held at Canadian Tire on Friday, Nov. 8.
Toys are collected by volunteers in a van donated by Williamson Uxbridge and featuring graphics from Dire Consulting, and taken to the Masonic Lodge where they are sorted, and distributed amongst the various community groups in Uxbridge.
The Toy Drive runs until Christmas Eve, and all toys donated in Uxbridge stay in Uxbridge.
"It’s local people giving to local charities and staying local," Uxbridge BIA Facilitator Sari Pandopulos told The Standard.
According to Mr. Higgins, last year, the Toy Drive took in more than 2,700 pieces and more than $4,000 in cash donations which allows organizers to purchase items such as boots, hats and mittens that are not normally covered by the Toy Drive as well as filling in any shortfalls in the age groups.
There is always a great need for toys geared towards older children and teenagers, such as gift cards and electronics.
Volunteers are at the root of the Toy Drive’s continued success in Uxbridge, and those interested in volunteering can learn more by visiting www.uxbridgetoydrive.com.