The generosity of Londoners was on full display Friday morning at the Delta Armories for the Corus Radio London Drive-Thru Toy Drives.
Hundreds of toys and thousands of dollars were collected for the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper program, which wraps up at 3:30 Friday afternoon.
AM980, FM96, Fresh Radio, and Country 104 packed a cube van and 10 trucks full of toys, and raised a total of $22,040 dollars between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday.
“I just wanted to help and I brought some presents,” says 6-year-old Sienna (pictured) who spent the morning volunteering to help bring in and organize donations for the toy drive.
“I think it’s important to help families because I don’t think it’s fair to them that we get presents on Christmas and they don’t.”
Sienna begged her grandmother to spend the morning helping bring in and organize the toys, and Nonna Linda couldn’t help but say yes, knowing how vital the Hamper program is to Londoners in need.
“We heard about it and Taz and the group asked me if I’d come down and my granddaughter says ‘oh, nonna, I want to help! I want to help!’ so her mother called the school and said ‘is it OK if she’s going to be late?’”
After facing a serious toy deficiency earlier this week, Salvation Army Spokesperson Shannon Wise is confident they’ll be able to provide a Christmas hamper to every family in need.
“We’re just thrilled there’s so many young kids who came here today and said ‘I picked this out with my mom or my dad and I wanted to donate this because this is something I would love to open on Christmas’. That was just phenomenal to see,” Wise tells AM980.
If you missed the toy drive, Wise notes cash donations can go a long way this time of year.
The Centre of Hope on Wellington Street will continue accepting donations 24/7, and distribute them right up until Christmas Eve.
With files from Natalie Lovie.