Toys for the North plans 2012 Christmas toy collection drive
More than $120,000 worth of toys head for the North's good girls and boys
“Toys for the North,” an annual charity drive for northern kids, which is now in its third year, kicked off Nov. 9 in Toronto at a launch attended by, among others, Santa Claus and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq.
At a ceremony held at the toy warehouse, Aglukkaq said it was an honour “to accept this generous donation of toys on behalf of northerners.”
“Despite the distance that separates many Canadians, we come together and are united in spirit, through kind and meaningful gestures such as this,” she said in a Nov. 9 Toys from the North news release.
The Canadian Toy Association, the Santa Claus Parade and the RCMP raised $80,000 last year for the Toys for the North campaign.
The RCMP hands out the toys to nearly 12,000 children in Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
This year, the program is expanding to reach kids in northern Manitoba.
And the Canadian Toy Association has increased its donation to $120,000 in toys “that will reach Canadian children who need them the most,” said Kerry George, president of the Canadian Toy Association.
More than 75 member companies of the association have already donated toys for Toys for the North through association events, such as the Canadian Toy Fair, Hot Toys of Summer and Hot Toys for the Holidays.
Nine members of the association, including Lego, MGA Entertainment, Tech 4 Kids, Crayola, Hasbro, K’Nex, Mattel, Spin Master and Schleich, committed to major toy donations ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 in value.
The Toronto Zoo is also participating in the Toys for the North drive through their employee toy donation program.
Last year, Toys for the North received a $25,000 donation in holiday wrapping paper from Hallmark, enough for 2011 and 2012.
Hallmark has also made a donation this year of $5,000 in recordable story books.
The collected toys are being stored at Thomson Terminals and will be shipped on scheduled RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces flights throughout November and December to northern communities, where the RCMP will take charge of delivery.
“Our members serve the communities, in which they live and work, in many significant ways each and every day, whether it is through coaching, teaching, mentoring or other volunteer activities,” said RCMP inspector Todd Gilmore. “This is a very satisfying part of our work which we are very proud to do.”