For the seventh year in a row, West Lincoln Community Care is asking for toonies and toys.
Community Care, in collaboration with the West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, is asking the community to donate toys or money for toys to be handed out to children and teens in December through its Toonie Toy Drive.
From Nov. 12 to Dec. 13, over 80 West Lincoln businesses and otherwise participating locations will have specially decorated bottles in which patrons are encouraged to leave donations that are not limited to toonies.
All cash and change is welcome, according to manager of client services and the food bank of Community Care Sharlene Volpatti. She said bigger cheque donations can be made directly to the Community Care and those interested in donating toys, essentials or clothing can drop them off at Community Care as well.
According to Volpatti, the number of clients increased this year due to the pandemic and as a result, so did the need for the community’s help.
“We just always want to make sure that children are taken care of and have a festive holiday,” she said.
Volpatti encouraged those who are donating to not only donate toys for children, but items for teens as well, who she says are sometimes overlooked in these situations.
Typically, the drive happens in the days prior to and on the day of the West Lincoln Santa Claus parade.
Last year, the Toonie Toy Drive raised over $5,000, despite the lack of a parade due to pandemic restrictions.
“The community contributed a ton,” said Paul Robertson, president of the West Lincoln Chamber. “I think it was probably our best fundraising efforts to date, even without the parade. So we are hoping to match that again this year.”
“It's a wide breadth of the population that access the services through Community Care,” he said. “You'd be surprised by the people that do access it. It's your neighbours, it's your colleagues, it's your friends. So please don't be shy to donate because we all need it.”
Elizabeth Cerni, vice president of the chamber, thanked the community at large for their generosity in the previous years and thanked the various businesses and other locations in West Lincoln for participating.
“This wouldn't be possible without the generosity of the community,” she said. “But anyone who has any ability to contribute is always appreciated.”
Those interested in donating to the Community Care or in need of service can call 905-957-5882 or email Community Care email@example.com.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News