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Littles Toy Tea returns with an all-new format on December 1st

RYAN ROGERS, Special to The Standard

NORTH DURHAM: For once the COVID-19 pandemic will be opening something up, instead of shutting it down this December. For the first time, the Littles Toy Tea, which supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham Region (BBBSND), is open to many more folks than usually possible, thanks to a new drive-through format to accommodate physical distancing, while remaining open for donations. The Littles Toy Tea operates like a toy drive, accepting gifts and redistributing them to families who are less fortunate during the Christmas season. Last year, thanks to many generous donations, BBBSND supported 11 families and 36 people through the Littles Toy Tea. This year the need is even greater. Thousands of vulnerable kids have been affected in ways we may not yet fully understand. “COVID-19 … has severed them from the few connections they have, the people they look up to, and the support they need,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, in a release responding to the pandemic. “Without it, their mental and physical health are at risk, and they are in danger of being left behind.” The Littles Toy Tea is another way to help support local youths from Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge townships, especially during the Christmas season. “The public is invited to once again to join us for our third annual Littles Toy Tea,” shared BBBSND executive director Margaret Ayres. “We’re having to do things a little differently this year, as we’re being vigilant to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” “This year we’re hosting the Littles Toy Tea at the Port Perry Scout Hall, where we ask for the donations to be dropped off at the big tent.” In lieu of the traditional tea and snacks, Toy Tea is offering a hot refreshment and tasty confections provided by sponsors Sunnybrae Golf Club and McDonalds Port Perry, and a raffle ticket for a luxury, Christmas gift basket, filled with locally donated items provided by Taylor Forder Insurance. “All donations are gratefully accepted, but the most powerful are gift cards or gift certificates from our local businesses,” stated Mrs. Ayres. “Your donations support our friends and families in Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge townships and will help them find a little more Christmas [blessing] under their trees this year.” The third annual Littles Toy Tea is hosted on GivingTuesday, this year on December 1st, and accepts gifts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. However, donations will be accepted at the Port Perry Scout Hall (15585 Simcoe Street) or PP Print (201 North Street) throughout the remainder of the week, if a donor were unavailable during the event, but still wishes to contribute.

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