This year’s toy drive by Comox Valley Dodge was even bigger than the first time around.
General manager Carson Grant says they started it last year and brought in donations of toys for about 50 children. For the second annual event, they brought in enough to give to about 175 kids.
If there was a downside, it was that COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult to raise food bank donations as was the case in 2019, so the dealership concentrated its efforts on providing gifts for children, something they started a few years back and brought to the Valley.
“Last year was our first year here,” he says. “We did food as well as the toy drive.”
He says he and his wife Summer were inspired by their parents, who always wanted to make sure Christmas was special family time.
“They liked Christmas, and they made sure it was about the kids,” he says.
The couple also wants to teach their daughters Madyson, 8, and Charleigh, 5, about the joy of giving to those in need at this time of year, as the kids went along for deliveries.
“It gave us an opportunity to teach them how fortunate they are and to give back,” he says.
About 70 per cent of people came to pick up the gifts, but Grant and his family delivered the rest.
The campaign started in November when they put the word out on social media calling for donations of toys as well as connect with families who might be in need. As a result, they were able to bring in about $5,000 worth of toys for kids ranging in age from one up to 18 years old, and they added another $2,000 worth of toys.
Summer and Carson’s aunt also gave the gifts a special touch by wrapping each in order for the children to have something to unwrap on Christmas day.
“My wife and my aunt managed to get that all squared away,” he says.
Grant hopes the toy drive is something that will continue to grow in the coming years.
“We’ll be continuing it as long as we stay here, for sure,” he says.