Personnel from 2 Service Battalion helped members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 Petawawa sort and organize the piles of toys. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
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Financial contributions from organizations, businesses and individuals are used to purchase groceries and other needed items for the toy and food drive. One group that supported the effort this year with a $500 donation was the Champlain Dog Club. Presenting the cheque to Legion President Ralph Kendrick is Champlain Dog Club Past President Sandra Allen. (Submitted photo)
Community donates hundreds of toys, $4,630 to annual Truckers Toy Drive
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday January 13, 2022
On Dec. 13, a large truck pulled up at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 Petawawa filled with donated toys.
With Santa’s elves already hard at work at the North Pole, it fell onto the shoulders of 2 Service Battalion (2 Svc Bn) personnel to collect and sort these toys, all of which were then distributed to families in need.
This makeshift Santa’s workshop is an annual undertaking - for 34 years, the Truckers Toy Drive, organized by 2 Svc Bn in partnership with the Legion, has provided Christmas hampers of gifts and food to local families to help make their festive season brighter.
For weeks before collection day, the festive soldiers tirelessly canvassed the community and units at Garrison Petawawa for donations. Collection boxes were spread out on base and in town, and most were filled to the brim when organizers went to pick them up.
As well as the toys, the effort also raised approximately $4,630 in cash donations. These funds are spent on food and supplies to fill any gaps in donations.
Seeing so much generosity in one place was not a surprise for organizers.
“The community always comes together,” said Corporal (Cpl) Tiffany Staley. “It does really well because people love to donate gifts for kids.”
The annual seasonal tradition is a staple for 2 Svc Bn. Every year, the unit bands together to show their care and goodwill for the community. There was no specific goal for the fundraiser, and organizers were grateful for whatever people wanted to give, said Cpl Staley.
“We just all want the kids to have a good Christmas,” she said.
Legion President Ralph Kendrick also extended his gratitude to the military members for all their hard work collecting funds and toys and bringing them to the branch each year.