Carolyn Iles

Carolyn Iles

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive drive kicks off

NANAIMO – Volunteers are once again doing their part to ensure needy children have gifts under the tree for Christmas.



The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive volunteers are once again doing their part to ensure that needy children have gifts under the tree for Christmas.

The campaign sees the collection of new toys and games distributed to families in need. Approximately 1,480 children received gifts last year, said toy drive president and treasurer Sheila Bonwick.

Toys for children up to 16 years of age are accepted, but toys for older children are especially appreciated as they are sometimes short in supply.

“Each year we have some shoppers that go out and buy extra toys for teenagers because that age group doesn’t get given to quite as much as the younger ones,” Bonwick said.

A number of organizations throughout Nanaimo are aiding the cause and amongst those are Edgewood Addiction Treatment, which is holding a toy drive Nov. 30, and the Nanaimo Clippers junior hockey club, which will be holding its annual teddy bear toss at a game on Dec. 7.

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive started in 1983 when a local mother, Dorothy Gaspardone, saw that were needy children in her neighbourhood.

“With the help of the corrections institute at the time, they helped to repair toys – used toys, almost new toys – and that’s how it started and so it has been going for 31 years,” Bonwick said.

Toys can be dropped off, unwrapped, at Woodgrove, North Nanaimo and Country Club shopping centres, all Coastal Community Credit Unions, Save-On-Foods, Budget Storage locations and city fire halls, the Port Theatre and the Nanaimo Museum until Dec. 16. Cash donations can also be made.

Families in need can register – they must present children’s identification – until Dec. 11 at numerous areas, which are listed at the toy drive website. Toy distribution takes place Dec. 18-19 at the Harewood school gym on Fifth Street.

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read