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Moncton charity that provides toys for kids in need sees near 40% increase in sponsorship

Click to play video 'Moncton charity that provides toys for kids in need sees nearly 40% increase in sponsorship' Moncton charity that provides toys for kids in need sees nearly 40% increase in sponsorship
WATCH: A charity called “What Kids Need Moncton” that provides Christmas gifts for families who may otherwise have nothing under the tree is feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Shelley Steeves reports, that may actually be a good thing – Dec 3, 2020

A Moncton charity called What Kids Need Moncton that provides Christmas gifts for families who may otherwise have nothing under the tree is feeling the impacts of the pandemic — in a good way.

Read more: The Christmas retail rush has kicked in early in Atlantic Canada amid COVID-19

Founder of the charity Amanda Pooley said that even though many people are now out of work and struggling financially amid COVID-19, the number of people stepping up to sponsor a child is up almost 40 per cent over last year.

“Even people who don’t have very much, maybe getting that big gift at Christmas isn’t as important anymore in light of what we’ve gone through and people that even have a little bit extra are donating it and trying to help other families,” said Pooley.

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Pooley has been collecting Christmas gift donations for kids in need in Moncton for the past nine years. She calls the event her “Snowflake Station.”

But she said that this year had been like none other and that getting the nearly 900 gift boxes to families has been a lot more challenging due to the pandemic.

Read more: Riverview’s stolen baby Jesus is recovered — but beyond repair

“We are not allowed to have pickups right now because we are in the orange phase,” she said.

So every box of toys has to be hand-delivered to people’s homes, which has been a challenge, she said, given they don’t have as many elf helpers as they used to.

“Hockey teams, college groups, work groups would come in probably 15 or 20 at a time and whip up the boxes for us,” said Pooley.

Amid COVID-19 restrictions, Pooley said she is only allowed to have five volunteers inside her space at a time and they’ve had to recruit a lot more volunteer drivers.

“A lot more delivery drivers who are doing a lot more running around but the good thing about COVID is that everyone seems to be home,” she said.

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Pooley’s mother, Gail Murphy, is one of those delivery volunteers. She said delivering the boxes has been a challenge but that she could not be more proud of her daughter’s determination to keep the giving going despite the challenges of COVID-19.

As for the generosity of others, Murphy said: “It is amazing. The community has come forward unbelievable!”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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