More than 2,000 toys and just under $10,000 in financial donations was raised at the 10th annual Archway Toys for Tots event at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford Nov. 27.
The event, hosted by title sponsor Clarion, was the first after two years of cancelled or drive-thru events, due to COVID pandemic restrictions.
“Our community is always so generous, and we were so happy to be able to gather in-person again for a great cause,” said event organizer Patricia Driessen following the event that saw toys stacked six feet high and nearly 1,200 breakfasts served by the Clarion event staff.
“Thanks to the Toys for Tots event, and the Teddy Bear Toss at the Abbotsford Canucks game … our toy room will be full again.”
“We had a fantastic turn out at our 10th annual Toys for Tots event, raising almost $10,000 in donations yesterday and more than 2,000 toys for our toy room from the more than 1,200 people who attended,” said Rebecca Thuro, Food Bank Program Supervisor. “This will go a long way in helping families this Christmas. However, we still need the community’s help to make sure that every child has a gift to open on Christmas morning.”
Donations are still being accepted to support the Christmas Bureau in providing food and gifts for children, youth and seniors in Abbotsford. To make a financial donation, view photos from the event including photos with Santa, please visit abbytoysfortots.com.
The Toys 4 Tots event saw volunteers from sponsors — including Envision Financial and Jag’s Furniture — as well as helpers from the Abbotsford Fire Service, Abbotsford Police, and Abbotsford Paramedics helping set-up and organize the growing toy pile throughout the day.
“We couldn’t run this event without all of our volunteers and sponsors who give of the time, energy and resources,” said Driessen.
Santa was onsite during the event, which was emceed by Cliff Prang, and featured performances by the Ever After Character Snow Sisters, MEI Chamber singers, the MEI Screaming Eagles marching band, Creative Edge, and singer-songwriter Ryan McAllister.
After the Nov. 27 event, the toys were brought to the Christmas Bureau, a program of the Archway Food Bank where caregivers will be able to choose a gift for children of all ages from the toy room hosted by Sevenoaks Alliance Church.
“Thanks to the Toys for Tots event, and the Teddy Bear Toss at the Abbotsford Canucks game … our toy room will be full again,” added Thuro.
Thuro estimates they will give out more than 2,500 gifts this holiday season to children, youth and seniors.
The Archway Food Bank & Christmas Bureau will also be providing holiday food hampers for more than 1,000 households this year.
“There’s been an increased need for access to food this entire year and the holidays bring a lot of extra expenses and expectations which are hard to meet on a limited income,” said Thuro.
“Together we’re helping make Christmas a little more magical for so many.”
Those who were unable to make the event can still drop off gifts at the Archway Food Bank on 33914 Essendene Ave. or make a donation online at Abbotsfordfoodbank.com/donate.
Those in need of help from the Christmas Bureau can contact the Archway Food Bank at 604-859-7814 or online at AbbotsfordFoodBank.com
For more photos and details please visit the Food Bank wrap-up post.
** Photos by Dale Klippenstein
“We couldn’t run this event without all of our volunteers and sponsors who give of the time, energy and resources.”