Kids Kick Off Toy Drive

By Sara Faruqi, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:29 p.m. November 25, 2014
Updated: 11:02 a.m. November 26, 2014

A bright, colourful toy donation box now sits in the lobby at police headquarters.

A boy with palms painted green throws them up in the air as he smiles.
Jackie does not want to wash his hands just yet.

On one side, tiny handprints make up a painting of a Christmas tree, Olaf the snowman from the movie Frozen smiles a lopsided smile on another side, and proudly signed at the back of the box are the names of more than a dozen Grade two and three students from Greenland Public School.

The kids came to HQ on November 25 to help paint the donation box for a toy drive hosted by the Employment Unit. The students from Greenland P.S. have been collecting toys for the box and will continue to do so throughout the week. 

Any new, unwrapped toy can be dropped off in the lobby of police headquarters at  40 College St. until December 10.

With tongues stuck out in concentration, faces close to the painting and small hands grasping large brushes, the students managed to paint the entire box in just under an hour. 

Photo Journal of Kids' Painting

“My favourite part was the snowman,” said student Helia shyly, her classmate Jonathon said he enjoyed the messier part of the hand-printed tree.

“Our principal came to us and asked us if we would like to put together a box for the toy drive,” explained teacher Erin Silver at the occasion. Silver said the children were excited about it since they had already been collecting toys for the drive. 

She explained that, in the beginning, the children had usual questions like why the children they were collecting toys for didn’t have any, but “we have been talking about giving back (in class)… so they are slowly understanding it” said Silver.

Two men in TPS uniform with a woman and another man with a group of children with a large box in centre with a tree painted on it.
Teacher Erin Silver, Constables Wong and Jason Gill as well as Deputy Chief Mark Saunders stand with Grade two and three students in front of a toy donation box they helped paint.

Constable Jason Gill, who organized the event, was busy painting tiny hands green, along with his “helpers” from the Employment Unit, Constables Juliane Palm, James Wong and Sara Magdy.ProAction Cops & Kids, an organization that links youth with police, and the Home Depot sponsored the event.

“The toy drive incorporates community and kids coming together to build a box. What better way in giving back than cops and kids working together,” said Gill. 

“This box has to be filled!” said Gill, pointing to the box – which most kids had to tiptoe to look into. 

Santa also paid a visit to the students as they painted the box, although some students had questions about where Santa would have parked his reindeer. 

As sweatpants, school bags, T-shirts (and some officers’ uniforms) splattered with paint began to dry off, the students surveyed their work proudly before signing their names on their work and heading back to school. 

TPS crest watermark