APPLAUSE: Poem passes on Toy Drive thanks

To the Editor,

T’was days before Toy Drive, yet all through the gym,

The present selection was looking quite slim.

Parents had registered 1,600 children with care,

In hopes that some presents soon would be theirs.


The directors were busy running there, calling here.

Nanaimo, they said, would come through, never fear.

No one was settling down for a nap,

As firemen and correctional centre guys picked up presents snip, snap.


When along came the bikers with their Toy Run largess,

Cash and toys, wow these friends are the best.

And then Mid-Island ATVers brought cash,

And added some presents to the now growing stash.


And angel tree projects at Save-On-Foods North,

And Community Credit Union brought toys forth.

The Budget Storage north unit emptied out in a flash,

And the Bulletin’s Pennies for Presents provided more cash.


Woodgrove Centre’s kick-off helped out a ton,

With drop offs at North Town, Country Club, firehalls and Port Theatre – what fun.

Some bikes at Nanaimo Recycling Exchange were found,

And Nanaimo  Correctional Centre made them quite sound.


Then came Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, Wal-Mart and Superstore, whew.

Audio Productions,,  Home Hardware and casino folks, too.

On Sharecare, Toys R Us, Canadian Tire and Thrifty Foods too.

And Quality Foods and Starbucks helped feed our ‘zoo’.


The school board helped find us space, you see,

With as much support as could possibly be.

The volunteers set out to display all the toys,

Upon and below tables, for girls and for boys.


That gym looked so festive, so pretty and bright,

Eight-hundred families would know Christmas delights.

As we gathered to prepare our volunteer teams,

The weather was fine, and our smiles, how they beamed.


Each child in Nanaimo, whether rich or poor,

Should have a new toy on Christmas, for sure.

So many did help with the toys and the shopping,

And others did help with computer tip-tapping.


We worked with our friends from Hamperville too,

Registering families, both the old and the new,

And marvelled at their passion, their joys,

Yes, we worked as partners for the girls and the boys.


And the volunteers who helped set-up the toys,

Joined others who helped select things for girls and for boys.

They came for four hours, some stayed for a day,

It was hard work, but we were ready to play.


Yes, as we prepared for distribution day,

We looked at the gym, at the games kids could play,

And we saw with our eyes what we knew in our hearts,

Nanaimo came through. We each played our parts.


Yes, Nanaimo came through and we thank one and all,

We thank you all, both the big and the small.

And so we will settle on down for a rest,

Knowing this year’s Toy Drive was one of the best.


Carolyn Iles

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive

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