Jo and Bruce Rowland were recognized for 27 years of service to The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive at the non-profits annual general meeting in May. (Submitted photo)

Jo and Bruce Rowland were recognized for 27 years of service to The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive at the non-profits annual general meeting in May. (Submitted photo)

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive honours volunteers for 27 years of service

Jo and Bruce Rowland recognized for dedication to charity that gathers toys for kids at Christmas

Christmas is six months away, but for the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, ‘tis the season to honour two volunteers for more than 25 years helping to gather toys for families in need.

Jo and Bruce Rowland were recognized for their 27 years serving “thousands of Nanaimo’s children and hundreds of toy drive volunteers,” at the non-profit’s May annual general meeting, stated a press release from the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.

“Jo was one of the first contacts volunteers had with the toy drive,” said Carolyn Iles, toy drive spokesperson, in the press release. “She registered, assigned and made name tags for each volunteer. Hers was the face parents saw first, as she ‘matched’ volunteers with families to find toys for each child.”

“Bruce was the IT guy, working behind the scenes on the data bases, website and software and hardware need to keep track of people,” Iles said. “When no one else would, Bruce stepped forward to be the chairperson, ensuring the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive continued to serve families in need of a little help at Christmas.”

While the Rowlands are being celebrated, Iles also said the organization needs more volunteers and board members “to continue this long-standing Nanaimo service.”

Even a few hours can make a difference, said Iles.

Anyone wanting to volunteer is asked to go to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive’s website, www.thegreatnananimotoydrive.ca.

RELATED: Nanaimo toy drive thanks community for ‘over the top’ support


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