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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Local OPP, Firefighters collect Santa’s Cause for Kids donations

by Sylene Argent

As Jolly Old Saint Nicholas needs as much help as he can get this time of year, area firefighters and OPP personal join forces every holiday season to collect new, unwrapped gifts for the Santa’s Cause for Kids program.

  Last Friday, the program’s organizers cruised around the Town of Essex to pick up the new, unwrapped toys community members purchased for the 2019 Santa’s Cause for Kids program.

  Area firefighters and OPP personnel picked up the toy donations from Essex Home Hardware Building Centre, TSC, Dollar Tree, Ken Knapp Ford, the Harrow Dollar Discount, Atlas Tube, Ken Lapain & Sons, Red Apple, Kimball Building Supplies Centre, the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, Delta Power Equipment, Canadian Tire, and Once Upon a Time Child Care Centre.

  In addition, Countryside Chrysler offered a cash donation, so organizers could purchase any items they needed for the program that may have not been already donated.

  OPP Constable Joe Meloche is always grateful to the local businesses and community members for their continued support.

  He started the Santa’s Cause for Kids program in around 2000, after seeing a need in the community. Meloche is always humbled to see the amount of toys area residents donate to the program every year, all to ensure every youth wakes up to a memorable Christmas morning.

  Those wishing to donate the Santa’s Cause for Kids program, but missed the collection date, can drop off new, unwrapped toys at Essex Fire Station #1 during regular business hours.

Monetary donations and gift cards, which are distributed for older youth, can also be dropped off at Essex Fire Station #1.

  After picking up the toy items from the drop off locations, the OPP personnel and firefighters delivered the items to the Essex Area Food Bank, the Salvation Army, the St. Vincent de Paul Chapters in Harrow and McGregor, and the Zeta Kappa Sorority for its Santa’s Sack program. These service organizations will organize and distribute the donations to families in the area facing economic hardships.


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