Anna Fisher

Anna Fisher

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive seeks donations for teens, babies

NANAIMO – Great Nanaimo Toy Drive wraps up early next week and requires a few more items.

The 2013 Great Nanaimo Toy Drive is steaming along but organizers say toy donations for certain age groups are short in supply.

President and treasurer Sheila Bonwick said many groups and businesses have been generous with donations but volunteers are having to buy toys for babies (up to two years) and older children.

“We’ve had to zero in on babies a couple of times over the years, so baby things are good; new baby things, the first year sort of thing,” Bonwick said. “Also, the older kids, 10- to 13-years-old, they’re kind of a hard bunch to buy (for). We don’t get the donations so much, so that’s what our shoppers zero in on.”

She added that if there’s a last-minute call for toys, those age groups are usually the ones organizers ask for.

“The donations in the malls are going well,” Bonwick said, adding that a toy box at Woodgrove shopping centre has been emptied a number of times already.

“We’re doing quite well,” she said.

Registration for the campaign closed yesterday and Bonwick said the number of people signing up for toy distribution is on par with last year, with more than 1,400 people as of Tuesday. Last year’s number of registrants amounted to slightly less than 1,500.

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive began in 1983, collecting new, unwrapped toys or cash donations which can be dropped off 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, Canadian Tire and the Nanaimo Museum until Monday (Dec. 16).

Toy distribution takes place Dec. 18 and 19 at the Harewood school gym on Fifth Street.