On December 18th, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services announced it had wrapped and tied a bow on its 18th annual Toy Drive; however, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Simcoe County residents, donations continued to roll in throughout the holiday season.
All told, 5,994 toys, 5,694 lbs of food, $32,178 in cash and $4,655 in gift cards were received and shared with those in need throughout the region, making this our most successful Toy Drive to date.
“The generosity shown by local residents through their donations of tens of thousands of dollars in toys, food and cash during this year's Toy Drive is an excellent demonstration of our character, strength and resiliency," said Warden George Cornell. “With Ontario under increasing public health restrictions, many charitable initiatives are suffering. However, these kind donations, combined with the outstanding efforts of our Paramedics who volunteered their time to make the Toy Drive possible, have helped to bring happiness and joy to families across our region, providing another shining example of inspiration and hope for Simcoe County residents to celebrate this festive season."
With this year's totals, the Toy Drive has collected 90,259 toys, 42,874 lbs of food, and approximately $209,090 in monetary and gift card donations for families across Simcoe County over the last 18 years.
“I am so proud of our County of Simcoe Paramedics who once again gave their time and energy to help those in need and provide for struggling residents during a pandemic. COVID-19 has challenged us all to stand together as one community and this year's results have been truly outstanding," said Andrew Robert, Director and Chief, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services. “Thanks to the Simcoe County Paramedic Association, we were able to create a virtual donation option that allowed our residents to continue to show their support from the safety of their own homes. I'd also like to thank the students from the Paramedic programs at Georgian College and CTS Canadian Career College for helping to promote this year's Toy Drive to their families, friends and followers via their social media accounts."
All donations have been distributed to local children and families in need by charitable organizations working in partnership with County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, with new donations received during the holiday season provided to the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions to help provide birthday gifts for children in need throughout the year.