Toy drive underway for displaced Kamloops kids
It’s something altruistic Kamloops residents usually only think about in the weeks leading up to Christmas — donating toys to kids in need.
But, a local women’s shelter is hoping to capitalize on some summer generosity with a toy drive aimed at helping displaced youth celebrate special occasions — and just be kids — year-round.
Throughout August, the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter is running a program called The Empty Toy Box Project.
“Basically, the idea is that every time a child comes to the house [shelter] we try to put together something special for them,” said Jes Stanko, family-support worker at the shelter.
“We try to make it special for the kids because often they’re leaving situations that are out of their control, and they have to leave their toys behind.
“We usually rely a lot on Christmas donations — but, what we get at Christmas goes out at Christmas.”
Enter The Empty Toy Box Project.
“We thought it would be a good idea to be able to provide that for the rest of the year,” Stanko said, noting many would-be donators are stretched thin in the winter months.
“And, we thought it would be good to do something in summer.”
The Y Women’s Emergency Shelter has an eight-family capacity. Stanko said some clients come with no children, while others have shown up with as many as seven.
Donations of new and unwrapped toys — of the “non-violent” variety, Stanko said — are being accepted at both Kamloops Y locations as well as more than a dozen local businesses.
For a complete list of where to drop off toys, visit this Facebook group.