Officers in 54 Division ensured many families received toys and joy over Christmas thanks to a partnership with a local business.
For the past seven years 54 Division has run the Toys for Tots program in partnership with the Canadian Tire Store located at 1901 Eglinton Ave. E. Constable Jennifer Dekezel, of 54 Division D Platoon, has managed the program for the last three years. In mid-November 2014, officers set up a display at the store advertising the program and inviting customers to donate toys or Canadian Tire Money to the initiative.
54 Division members and Auxiliary officers participated in the program by volunteering their time to staff the store display. The officers are on hand to greet the public and answer any questions that they may have regarding the program and the agencies that benefit from the donations.
The five-week program was a great success with $4,000 being collected. Members of D platoon volunteered to sort and count the bags full of Canadian Tire money donated by the store customers. The $4,000 in public donations was matched by the store owner bringing the total donation to $8,000.
Constable Dekezel invited eight representatives from charitable organizations located in 54 Division to attend the Canadian Tire store at 6:30 am on December 22. Each organization was presented with a voucher for $1,000 that they could use to purchase toys, clothing or other household goods for families their members provide services to.
54 Division would like to thank Constable Dekezel for managing the program as well as Constables Joel Main, Rob Worts and Jason Land for the extraordinary amount of time they donated and the members D Platoon for their assistance in counting the Canadian Tire money. We would also like to recognize Community Response Unit Administrator Cheryl Bremner for her administrative assistance and the 54 Division Auxiliary officers who also donated many hours of their time to the program.
The efforts of our officers and the generosity of our community members helped to ensure that families living in less fortunate conditions received a gift at Christmas. This initiative was a team effort that has helped to enhance our partnerships with local charitable organizations and clearly demonstrated the commitment of our officers to community service and the core value of teamwork.