The Bargain! Shop is bringing back their annual toy drive for the fourth straight year, with some changes to accomodate for COVID-19.
The drive, which started on Nov. 14 and will wrap up on Saturday, Dec. 5, allows patrons to donate by adding a cash value to their purchase at check out, or to select a specific toy to add to their bill.
Locally, the Bargain! Shop is looking to raise $5,000, with their parent company, Red Apple Stores Inc., hoping to raise $650,000.
“I can’t say enough how important this year is, it’s been challenging for many families and Christmas is a time for giving,” said Vera Derr, manager of the store.
“We really want to show people that there’s hope around the corner, we want to let our customers and community know that we’re all in this together.”
According to Derr, the Bargain! Shop will still be doing their Sleigh Day with the Nicholson Fire Department on Dec. 5 to celebrate wrapping up their fundraiser.
The Fire Department will be bringing one of their vehicles to fill with toys from the drive and to help transport the toys. Children will not be permitted on the fire engine as they have in years past, but Derr says she hopes that the kids can still get a thrill out of seeing the engine up close.
There won’t be photos with Santa, but the Bargain! Shop will be creating a winter wonderland themed backdrop for families who still want to take a Christmas photo together.
Tim Horton’s will also be bringing hot chocolate, to be served and monitored by Bargain! Shop staff to keep patrons safe.
Shoppers that participate in Sleigh Day can enter a draw to win a special Christmas themed gift basket.
“We still want to maintain a safe environment for our customers so we’ve had to scale it down from years past,” said Derr.
“But it’ll be a fun and festive environment for kids and families.”
As well, Red Apple typically donates 10 per cent of all toy sales on their Sleigh Day, which Derr says can add up to a big chunk of their fundraising efforts. This year, Red Apple will be donating 10 per cent of all sales across all departments on Dec. 5 towards the fundraiser.
“The generosity that people have shown so far, it’s really touching,” said Derr.
“It’s little acts of kindness that we all strive to witness is what Christmas is about, knowing that we aren’t alone and are here for each other.”
The Bargain! Shop will be working with the Golden Food Bank to bring the toys to families in need.