A 10-year-old Cub Scout from Sherwood Park has made Christmas brighter for a lot of kids after collecting more than $15,000 worth of toys for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous Saturday afternoon.
Connor Topilko got the idea to support Santas while working toward his Seeonee Award. The award requires Scouts to either perform a fundraiser or work to help their community.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of job losses, so I thought maybe a way I could help people because, if people are losing their jobs, they may not have enough money to buy Christmas presents for their kids or their families and that wouldn’t be very good,” he said.
“So I thought that if I could do a toy drive, then they’d be able to get presents for their kids.”
Connor’s Scout leaders suggested he use mom Sarah Topilko’s social media to get the word out and his posts spread quickly through the Edmonton bedroom community.
The family set up outside Glen Allen School — where Connor’s Cub Scouts meet — and were overwhelmed by the amount of people that came out to support the toy drive.
“It made me really happy to see everyone coming to support this cause because I know it’s going to make so many people happy,” Connor said.
The family of four, including Connor’s younger brother Bentley, were out there for three hours Saturday afternoon and made their delivery to Santas Depot on Sunday. Connor said had no idea the monetary value of the toys he had been able to collect.
“Honestly, it was so surprising,” he said. “It was pretty mind-blowing when I heard the number.”
“We’re so proud of him, we’re proud of both boys,” Sarah said. “Bentley’s a Cub Scout as well and just to see them Saturday hustling all day… Bentley was filling the trailer too.
“Just to know that Connor — he has such a big heart and this is not unusual for him, he does stuff like this all the time and that’s just kind of the kiddo he is. We’re just incredibly proud of him.”
While Bentley is a Cub Scout as well, his volunteer hours won’t go toward an award. He says he was just trying to be a good brother.
“It was fun,” he said. “Ten out of 10!”
“Bentley will be a third-year Cub in a couple of years so the bar is raised for sure,” Sarah said. “We’re going to have to come up with a good project for him!”