Sidney’s Toys For Tots campaign is under way

Mary Winspear Centre staff have taken on the campaign this year.

There will be toys under the trees of families on the Saanich Peninsula once again this year.

In danger of losing the annual Toys For Tots campaign this fall, staff at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney have agreed to take over the effort to collect toys for children in need.

Marketing Co-ordinator for the Winspear Centre, Carey Salvador, says last year’s organizing team could not put the same level of commitment into the program, so the Centre stepped up.

“Last year, the Centre was a drop-off location,” she said. “This year, some of the past organizers had moved away and one of the remaining organizers needed volunteers.

“So, the Mary Winspear Centre took it on in a big way.”

The Centre is now the main drop-off point for people who wish to donate a new, unwrapped gift for children — girls and boys — between the ages of six months and 16 years old.

“For older kids, try buying gift cards,” Salvador suggested.

The Centre is also accepting cash donations. The money will be used to buy gifts for children should their age group come up a little short donations-wise.

There are other drop-off points for the Toys For Tots campaign. The TD Bank on Beacon Avenue is collecting money and the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society is collecting toys and other donations at its Christmas Grotto next to Alexander’s Coffee  on Beacon Avenue.

Salvador added the Centre will be looking for volunteers to help with a gift wrapping session on December 13 and 14. People who are interested in helping can call 250-656-0275 or email

Last year, Salvador sad the Centre was involved as well and saw first-hand the generosity of the community.

“We were overwhelmed by the support of the community, by all of the toys they brought,” she said.

There was a half-a-box of toys left over from 2013, she continued, and all will be used in this year’s campaign.

She estimated there were close to 900 toys given out last Christmas.

Parents can register to receive toys from the program through the Sidney Lions Food Bank near Iroquois Park. Toys will be wrapped and organized by gender and age and will be distributed through the food bank after Dec. 14.

Just Posted

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

Courage, ability shine in REACH benefit performance

REACH – The Benefit Concert is Saturday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. at First Metropolitan United Church

Santa’s Helpers kick off toy drive Monday in Sidney

Donors across the Peninsula help about 300 families have a happy holidays

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Most Read