A local photographer teamed up with the North Oyster Volunteer Fire Departments to donate about $1,000 worth of toys to children in care at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Bob Burgess, who used to volunteer as a firefighter, is selling 2022 calendars featuring his photography in the area and using the funds to support the fire department’s toy drive.
“Because of the timing on the toy drive, I actually went out and bought the toys before the calendar sales,” Burgess said. “[Sales] seem to be pretty much on par from what we did last year. I’d say we are about half of the 250 that we had printed.”
The toy drive is new this year for the North Oyster department and was organized by member Isabel Smith. After seeing a Facebook post looking for a spot to put a toy box from Helmet Head Canada, a motorcycle group, Smith pitched the idea to the fire chief.
“We started trying to get more popularity into the idea of having a toy box here,” she said. “I feel like we have gained quite a bit of traction with it and I am truly hoping that I can keep this going every year now.”
The toys will be dropped of at NRGH on Dec. 22. Donations can be brought to the firehall Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. or Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. Anyone who can not get there at these times can also contact Smith via Facebook to make arrangements to donate.
Smith thanked the Burgesses for reaching out and asking how to help, and for their donation to the drive.
“We are still open to donations and a little bit of anything is more than enough. It doesn’t need to be anything big,” Smith said.