Drive thru toy drive for Nicola Valley Food Bank

·2 min read

A local family, in partnership with the Nicola Valley Food Bank, is stepping up to make sure Christmas will still be magical this year by organizing a ‘Toy Drive Thru’ to collect gifts for children.

Sisters Leah and Tosha, along with their mother Shelley, were visiting one day when the topic came around to Christmas, and how different everything was and would be given the world was in the midst of a pandemic.

“2020 has been a particularly difficult year for many, we wanted to help spread love to the little lights in our community and came up with the idea of the Stronger Together Toy Drive over tea and chit chatting,” explained Leah.

“What we were hearing and seeing was that many successful toy drives were having to cancel because of COVID-19, and we want to fill that gap this season.”

The trio decided that those less fortunate shouldn’t go without a present to open Christmas morning, particularly children, for whom the holiday season can be a truly magical time.

As such, they asked for donations of new toys for boys and girls, aged 0-16.

The ‘Drive Thru’ took place on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 1p.m. – 3p.m. at 1964 Greaves Ave., in the Merritt Bench area. All toys were then taken to the Nicola Valley Food Bank.

“We are not food bank volunteers, but we inquired with our local Food Bank if we could collect and donate to them and they were very grateful,” said Leah.

COVID protocols were in place and donations were handled in a safe and sanitary way with minimal contact.

“We are hoping by collecting these toys for our community this helps to spread a positive light for what can be a very dark season for many,” said Leah.

“Together, we are all stronger giving, helping and supporting each other.”

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald