Toys for tots in Sidney: it’s a wrap

Presents for kids from the community to be delivered before Christmas

Mary Smart and Grant MacDonald team up with chamber and Rotary members and other volunteers helping out with Rob McMillan’s second annual Secret Santa: Toys for Tots wrapping party Sunday.

Rob McMillan’s Canoe Cove Restaurant was busy Sunday with the sounds of scissors cutting through paper and volunteers talking happily amongst themselves.

Volunteer present wrappers from the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, local Rotary Club and more were busily making sure the hundreds of gifts were ready for the  start of distribution on Monday. This week, McMillan’s second annual Secret Santa: Toys for Tots campaign is giving presents to children whose families are in need and the organizer couldn’t be happier with the level of support received from the community.

“I’m very happy with the amount of donations from people, the corporate sponsors and more,” McMillan said in between carrying armloads of wrapped presents to waiting vehicles for delivery.

McMillan started the Toys for Tots effort last year, holding events at Canoe Cove and getting out into the community for help.

This year, he stepped up when the local Kiwanis Club folded and could no longer run their Christmas gifts for children campaign.

Enlisting the help of the community and local service groups, McMillan expanded his effort to keep the giving season alive.

He sought the support of local individuals and businesses — including CFAX 1070’s Santa’s Anonymous campaign — to shore up the campaign. That effort also includes the Peninsula News Review’s own Coins for Kids campaign that saw readers donate more than $3,000.

McMillan will be distributing the gifts this week at the soccer club building in Iroquois Park.

Clients of the Sidney Lions Club Food Bank who qualify will be directed to the Toys for Tots distribution area after they receive their food hampers.

“Last year was my first year doing this,” McMillan said. “This year, I had a lot more support and generosity from people.”

One person even donated a large doll house, which McMillan is raffling off to raise money.

Whoever dropped it off, he said, did so without leaving their name and he wanted to thank them for their generosity.

Sunday’s wrapping party had plenty of food and drinks donated and all of the wrapping paper came from Glenn Smith of Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections. He was at Canoe Cove Sunday, helping make sure all of the presents were wrapped.

Distribution of the gifts for kids started Monday and McMillan said he’s grateful to the entire community.

“A big thank you has to go out to the community,” he said. “A lot of people did a lot of work.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read