Kids in Toronto Community Housing (TCH) will be reminded that they have the support of the police and the community over the holiday season.
Toronto Police’s Employment Unit collaborated with Nike and TD Bank to collect the toys that will be distributed in the next few days.
“This is the time of the year when kids and their parents should be happy and I know there will be many, many smiles when we show up with these toys,” said Will Herrada, the TCH Active Living program supervisor.
The toys were picked up from Toronto Police Service headquarters on December 20.
Constable Jason Gill conceived the idea for the toy drive.
“When I was growing up, I always received gifts,” the 12 Division officer said. “I think every young person should have that opportunity.”
Janee Vaughan, the Nike Toronto Eaton Centre store operations manager and their community ambassadors Maliza Hernandez and Kenzy Mazhar dropped off three boxes of toys.
“I am a friend of Officer Gill and, when he told me about this drive, we decided to link up with Toronto Police,” said Vaughan. “These are toys donated by our Eaton Centre and Employee store members.”
Annmarie Henry, the Employee Unit manager, said the Service’s partnership with Nike and TD Bank has been incredibly fruitful.
“We are so pleased with the large amount of gifts we can offer to the kids,” she said. “We will be back again next year.”
Former Employment Unit Constable James Wong built the large toy box.
“It was constructed by one of our own and his hard work has paid off because we fill the box every year,” said Henry. “It’s just an amazing feat for us and we are very pleased.”
The toy drive received a boost this year from the North Face Rally Club members who dropped off a considerable amount of toys from their members.
“We support Sick Kids and Cops for Cancer programs so, when he heard about this, we decided to fill a few bags of goodies,” said club owner Zuhair Naz.
Constable Esmail Dhukai helped pack the toys for delivery.
“The faces of the children who got toys through this program last year lit up and it’s something I will always remember,” he said. “I know it is going to be the same with those young people who are getting these toys this year.”
Students at First Nations Junior & Senior School of Toronto were last year’s recipients of toys, compliments of the Toronto Police Service Employment Unit and generous donors.