As the 2017 Great Nanaimo Toy Drive heads towards its conclusion, Krista Simpson will be out and about shopping for toys in the hopes that no child is without Christmas morning.
Simpson, who is responsible for shopping and distribution, said value is at the top of mind when buying toys.
“When we’re shopping, we definitely look for deals to stretch the monetary donations,” said Simpson. “Typically Lego. For the older kids, teens, headphones, a lot of requests for room-type decorations for the older girls in particular. We try to look for hot items. Fingerlings are pretty hot this year.”
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People usually donate toys for younger kids and Simpson says because of that, she normally shops for children 10 years and up. However, items for the older children were requested when the campaign kicked off in November and a fair amount of for that age group has been donated.
“I’d say given folks did listen to the request for teens, I think probably (toys for) the 10-12, 10-13 group at this point, which can be tricky,” said Simpson when asked about what items they are currently short of. “I think typically [for] girls, quality craft sets, introductory knitting type sets … stuff like that. And then science kits, I think, are good for kids that age and Lego, always popular,” said Simpson.
For males in that range, Nerf guns are popular.
Simpson said she enjoys her work preparing for distribution.
“I”m a shopaholic,” said Simpson. “I love toys, I’m actually part of a Lego club, so I’m a big fan of that. Christmas has always been important to me. I don’t actually have kids myself, but it’s nice to see that all kids can enjoy the season and be able to open something at Christmas.”
Registration concluded this past weekend, but late registration will take place on the two days of distribution, Dec. 18 and 19.
For more information, including drop-off locations, go to www.thegreatnanaimotoydrive.ca. The last day to donate is Dec. 16.
The News Bulletin’s Coins for Kids fundraiser also donates partial proceeds to the drive.