What do you worry about during the holiday season?
Some of us worry about picking the perfect gift. Others try to push the mounting credit card bills to the back of their minds. Still others lose sleep at the thought of one more trip through the crowded halls of Christmas jingles and anxious shoppers that are shopping malls this time of year.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the personal and family stress of the holidays, but at one point or another we end up in a warm, bright room with our family and friends, eating a regrettable amount of food and passing out gifts.
Maybe it’s cliché to suggest that not everyone gets to enjoy that warmth, but with the stress and clamour of the holidays, it’s easy to push the thought from our minds. That’s understandable – we only have so much space in our brains to keep track of the holiday season chaos.
The good news is that every year, the charitable organization ‘Toys for Tots’ focuses their efforts and attention on those who are the most left-out each December. Their goal is simple: to provide toys for children who would otherwise go without.
“Our group of shop owners have always been proud supporters of our communities, sponsoring local sports teams, charity events, and other organizations over the years,” explains Glenn Colling, President of Eastside Auto Service. “I had the fortune to meet Constable Jody Dugas to discuss the Toys for Tots campaign. In that meeting with Jody I could not help but sense her compassion, and passion for helping families in need in our wonderful region of Halton. There was absolutely no hesitation amongst our group to support Toys for Tots, and the over 4,000 families the organization helps each year. We are proud to partner with the Halton Police and the public for this worthy cause.”
The simplicity of their endeavour is what makes Toys for Tots so effective. They collect donations of cash and new, unopened toys. The toys go to the kids, and the cash goes to the toys (which, of course, also go to the kids). As they state emphatically on their webpage, “NOT ONE DONATED DOLLAR GOES TO PAY FOR SALARIES OR ANY OTHER MANPOWER COSTS. “
That’s what draws Eastside Auto back year after year, along with the Halton Regional Police and several other local businesses. Toys for Tots doesn’t have a political message, they don’t claim to end starvation or bring about world peace – they just want to make kids happy in a time of year where many can feel their lowest.
Last year, we came together with a group of four other independent auto repair shops to donate $3000, bringing our total to $13,500 over the course of five years. We also brought in an additional $22,550 in donations from our generous customers in that same period, helping support the over 4000 families Toys for Tots helps each year.
This year, we kick off our annual Toys for Tots campaign with the Halton Police at 10 a.m. on November 18th running through to December 15th. Join us at the Fairview St. Canadian Tire location in Burlington, or come by the shop at any time in the following month to donate financial resources, new toys, or gift cards.
If you did your holiday shopping early, and you have the time to do more than just donate, Toys for Tots is always looking for volunteers to help them exceed last year’s donations.
Otherwise, make room in your shopping cart for an extra gift or two. You can brighten someone’s holidays without missing a minute of your own. Join the people all over Ontario who are making the holidays happier for everyone.