The 2 Service Battalion Truckers’ Toy Drive is in its 30th year and once again partnered with the Royal Canadian Legion in Petawawa and the Petawawa Pantry food bank to help distribute gifts and food to families in the area. 2 Svc Bn Transportation Company Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer Dave Issa (left), toy drive OPI Warrant Officer Terrence Adams (centre) and Acting Tn Coy Officer Commanding Captain Dwight Sine (right) presented a cheque for $2,013 to Scotty Collins (second from left) and Legion Branch President Bob Howell (second from right). The funds were used to purchase food, and gift certificates for older children. (Photo by Lisa Brazeau, Petawawa Post)

Christmas bounty for annual toy and food drive

By Lisa Brazeau

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018

Through a partnership between the 2 Service Battalion (2 Svc Bn) 30th annual Truckers’ Toy Drive, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 Petawawa and the Petawawa Pantry food bank, more than 100 local families in need had a brighter Christmas in 2017.

The annual toy, food and fund drive wrapped up on December 18 at the Legion, where volunteers sorted through boxes and boxes of donated items in anticipation of families visiting to select gifts and take home food hampers for the holiday season.

“The community has been very generous,” said Truckers’ Toy Drive OPI Warrant Officer Terrence Adams of 2 Svc Bn Transportation Company (Tn Coy). “It’s been amazing. It’s always a pleasure to help out the community because they always give back to the military.”

Not only does the initiative provide cheer to those in need, it’s also made his Christmas a better one, he said.

“To see the community come together to help families in need really boosts my spirits, and my own family’s spirits,” he said, adding he took his 12-year-old daughter to see a truckload of the donations and “she was in awe.”

In addition to a mountain of donated items, volunteers from 2 Svc Bn Tn Coy also collect monetary donations which are in turn presented to the Legion to purchase food to help the Petawawa Pantry fill hampers, as well as gift certificates for older children. The Legion does the same with any additional funds or donations they receive for the drive, noted Branch President Bob Howell.

As well as a full Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings, each family receives about a week’s worth of staple groceries, he added.

This year marks the second that the Petawawa Pantry has joined in to assist, providing food and packing hampers for distribution.

“It’s a good feeling... being able to provide for people who can’t provide for themselves at Christmas,” said food bank Manager/Treasurer Yvon Serre.

It’s a group undertaking, and everyone does their part to help it succeed, said Scotty Collins, who has been in charge of the Legion’s efforts for many years. He expressed his gratitude to the community as a whole, and highlighted generous support they receive year after year from local businesses like the Red Apple Store and CANEX.

Collins is also thankful for 2 Svc Bn’s partnership.

“We couldn’t do it without the Truckers,” he added.