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New toys and food donations being collected for the holidays

by Sylene Argent

With the Holiday season here, and the spirit of giving in the air, many community members may wonder how they can support those in need.

 Santa’s Cause for Kids

Every youth deserves a bright Christmas morning, but sometimes, Santa needs a little help.

  To help ensure youths, of families facing economically stressful times, enjoy a wonderful holiday, local OPP personnel and firefighters of Essex Fire & Rescue have teamed up to collect new, unwrapped toys through the annual Santa’s Cause for Kids program.

  The Santa’s Cause for Kids program has been in operation for over a decade. It started when OPP Contestable Joe Meloche, and fellow OPP officers and local Firefighters, saw a need within the community.

  Thanks to hundreds of generous shoppers, and to the many participating businesses located throughout the municipality, the program organizers were able to collect hundreds of toy items, in addition to clothes, food items, and monetary donations last year. The monetary donations are typically used to help purchase items needed that were not donated, such as gift cards for older youths. It is suggested gift cards should be donated directly to Essex Fire Station #1.

  Toys donated through the program will be delivered to the Essex Salvation Army, the Essex Area Food Bank, the St. Vincent de Paul chapters in Harrow and McGregor, and the Zeta Kappa Sorority for its Santa’s Sack program.

Those in a position to give can leave new, unwrapped items where they see a “Santa’s Cause for Kids” sign around the municipality. Participating businesses include Essex Home Hardware, Dollar Tree, Red Apple, Canadian Tire, TSC, the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201), Countryside Dodge, Ken Knapp Ford, and Essex Fire Station #1.

Firefighters will also accept toy donations during the Essex Centre Santa Claus Christmas Parade, which will take place on Saturday, December 8, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Firefighters on foot along the parade route will collect new, unwrapped toys from those safely standing along the parade route.

  Those wishing to support this cause can do so ahead of the December 14 pick up date. Any later donations can be dropped off at Essex Fire Station #1 for the following year.

Essex MP collecting

food donations

Currently, MP Tracey Ramsey is hosting the 20 Days of Community Giving campaign. She is asking her constituents to put a non-perishable food item aside every day during the campaign. After 20 days, the donation can be forwarded to her office on December 13. Her team will then distribute the items to food banks in Essex County.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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