Calgary toy drive-thru supports city’s less fortunate children

A Christmas toy drive is held in Calgary for 100 children, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Global News

A pair of Calgary organizations have not allowed the COVID-19 pandemic to stop them from supporting the city’s less fortunate children.

Integration for Life and United Way turned their annual holiday toy drive into a toy drive-thru Saturday to provide kids in need with toys this Christmas while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Selected families picked up their toys Saturday as part of the No Kid Without a Toy program, which provided 100 toys for 100 less fortunate Calgary children who might otherwise not have received a Christmas gift.

“This year we have seen a very big impact because of COVID. (It’s) especially hit very hard on the under-privileged families, people who have lost their jobs,” Project Integration for Life spokesperson Gabriella Cartegena said.

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“We’ve seen a higher volume of people looking for help and thankfully we’re here to help.”

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The children receiving toys were between the ages of three and 13. Most of the families selected to be included in the program are part of the Mustard Seed’s programs.

“If there’s anything that anybody needs, we’re here to help whenever, Cartegena said. “We have hundreds of volunteers. We have hundreds of people that are willing to lend a hand.

The organizations will also provide food hampers in January to less fortunate families as the second part of the program.