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Vancouver firefighters spend big at local toy stores to offset coronavirus losses

Vancouver firefighters load up donation Christmas toys they purchased in May to try and help struggling local businesses during the pandemic.
Vancouver firefighters load up donation Christmas toys they purchased in May to try and help struggling local businesses during the pandemic. Daniel Marquardt

Some struggling Vancouver businesses businesses are getting a much needed boost from Vancouver Firefighter Charities.

Christmas is still seven months away but firefighters got an early start this year for its annual Toys for Kids campaign.

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Off-duty members have already unloaded a van full of toys, worth more than $45,000 from Dilly Dally Kids and The Granville Island Toy Company.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to work the whole time (the pandemic has been ongoing), and we hope that these businesses can stay open,” said Vancouver firefighter Jamie Olson.

“We are living in a unique situation right now with COVID-19. A lot of small businesses are struggling. So instead of purchasing stuff at big box stores, we decided to support local Vancouver small stores and shop at those locations and buy toys and sporting goods.”

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Round two of shopping happens Tuesday.

“We are purchasing a total of $20,000 of sporting goods to go to the Christmas Bureau for kids in need,” said Olson.

The goods will be stored until next winter, and then donated during the holidays.

Last year, Vancouver Firefighters Charities donated $91,000 worth of toys for local families.

You can learn more about how to support the Vancouver Firefighters Charities here.