For 22 years the Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside has hosted the two day Toy Drive event in North Nanaimo neighbourhoods, collecting new toys, non-perishable food items, and cash.
This year we changed it up with an afternoon event in the park so families could bring their young children to visit with Santa. There were hotdogs, hot chocolate, and holiday crafts. We ended the day with a door-to-door collection and a parade consisting of a timeless 40’ float, the Nanaimo volunteer firefighters and fire truck, the Nanaimo Islanders Cheer Squad, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets (136 Amphion) , as well as Rotary vehicles, and volunteers. The parade is highly anticipated in the neighbourhoods that we visit and residents plan their evening to include friends, family, and grandchildren in the event.
Every year we see the need in the community grow, and this year was no different. We supplied gifts and funds to more than 700 children from School District #68, and numerous families benefited from the donation of non-perishable food items.
This year we saw an increase in donations from people in our greater community outside the parade route, with local businesses providing cash sponsorships for gift cards and bus tickets. We are extremely grateful for all of the donations and volunteer assistance. Preparations have already begun for the 2022 Toy Drive — and we anticipate even more community involvement next year.
Thank you Nanaimo friends for helping us to once again bring joy to our youth in need.