The Clarion Hotel’s Toys for Tots event benefitting the Archway Food Bank of Abbotsford will now be held at the Abbotsford Centre due to flooding at the hotel.
“The Clarion Hotel have been long-term partners in this event and despite everything the hotel industry has gone through over COVID they were fully on board to host again,” shared Rebecca Thuro, a supervisor at the Archway Food Bank. “Unfortunately, the flooding in and around their building made hosting the event impossible.”
The Canucks organization then offered to host the event at the Abbotsford Centre.
“Our community is going through a lot and we considered cancelling the event, however people are eager to help in any way they can and the need for the Christmas Bureau may be higher than ever this year,” said Rebecca.
Toys for Tots is the primary fundraiser for the Archway Christmas Bureau which is expected to provide gifts for over 1,800 children in Abbotsford.
The Toys for Tots event will still be held Friday, November 26th, but the drop-off time has been extended, starting at 7:00am and running until 3:00pm at 33800 King Road. Individuals are invited to bring a gift or monetary donation.
Guests can still look forward to a festive experience with appearances throughout the day by the Ever After Snow Princesses, the MEI Chamber Singers and Screaming Eagles Marching Band, and of course, Santa himself. Unfortunately, due to the last-minute change of venue, organizers are currently unsure if they will be able to provide “breakfast-to-go.”
“Despite everything else that is going on, our sponsors, volunteers and entertainers have been so willing to pivot and do what needs to be done,” said event coordinator, Patricia Driessen. “We had so many offers from people willing to help out and are so grateful to the Canucks for taking on this event on such short notice.”
“Our community is going through a lot and we considered cancelling the event, however people are eager to help in any way they can and the need for the Christmas Bureau may be higher than ever this year.”
After the event, the toys are brought to the Christmas Bureau of Abbotsford, where families in need can shop for gifts for their children. Through the Christmas Bureau, the Archway Food Bank of Abbotsford hopes to help more than 2,000 children this season.
“While the title of the event highlights toddlers, teens are often forgotten at Christmas,” said Rebecca. “We encourage people to also consider older children and teens when picking a gift to donate. Shopping for teens is difficult, and it’s even more difficult for families who have to pick between necessities and gifts at Christmas.” See Teen Gift Ideas Here
Another way people can give is with gifts for older adults under the new Seniors Tree sponsored by Pacific Quorum Properties.
“At the Food Bank, we’ve noticed an increased number of seniors needing support. With their fixed incomes, they aren’t always able to celebrate special occasions and they may not have family support. With the donated gifts, we can help make their Christmas memorable,” said Rebecca.
Suggested gifts for seniors include toiletries, cozy socks, mittens or toques, books, gift cards, puzzles and other games.
Special Thanks To Our Sponsors!
“The world sure has changed since we last hosted this event in-person in 2019 and we have been working hard behind the scenes to re-imagine Toys for Tots,” said Rebecca. “Our sponsors and other stakeholders have really stepped up this year and the tradition to provide hope to children at Christmas will continue – albeit slightly modified.”
The 9th event is supported by Platinum sponsors, Envision Financial and Jag’s Furniture as well as a host of other sponsors.
“We’re excited to be partnered with Toys for Tots Abbotsford. As a financial cooperative, helping communities thrive is important to us and we’re excited to bring joy to families during the holiday season,” shared David Lanphear, president of Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union.
“At Jag’s Furniture and Mattress, we are proud to be able to give back to the communities which continue to show us huge support year after year. We are looking forward to contributing as a Platinum Sponsor for the Toys for Tots Christmas Breakfast and being a part of this tremendous event for the 9th year in a row,” said Gurp Jaswal, Vice President, Jag’s Furniture & Mattress.
Mark Ellery, Executive Vice President of Pacific Quorum Properties shared that they have a mandate to give back to the communities they work in. “Our corporate culture suggests all the staff to do better and support those who need a helping hand from time to time. Toys for Tots is one of the many food banks Pacific Quorum supports province wide.”
Alternate Drop Off Locations
Those who cannot make the event can drop off gifts at the Food Bank on 33914 Essendene Ave or one of the drop off locations listed at AbbyToysForTots.com. Financial donations can be made at Abbotsfordfoodbank.com/T4TDonate