This year, the 23rd Elsie Roy Cub Scouts are working on their Blue Star – Home and Community. A requirement for the Blue Star is to do a Community Service. For a Cub, that can be simple like cleaning up a park (but since I’m a firm believer in Leave No Trace, my Cubs do this every time we go to a park regardless of a badge requirement). While I was with 1st Yennadon in Maple Ridge, I worked with a lot of low income families and knew of the struggle that some of them had to have a nice Christmas. This inspired a new sort of Community Service – one that can impact a family greatly.
Here’s what I sent to the parents:
TOY DRIVE – Please Bring a toy to donate. As part of our Blue Star, Community Service is part of the Star’s requirement. I feel it’s important for the Cubs to take a moment during the holidays to think of someone who can’t get presents because of circumstances out side of their control. In the past, the Cub Scouts have donated to the Christmas Hamper in our city (Maple Ridge), but I wasn’t able to find any organization like that in Vancouver. After much research and thought, we’ve selected two places to donate to this year:
All used items collected will be going to Springhouse, The Bloom Group’s women and children emergency shelter located in Vancouver. They’ve requested the following items:
“We are always in need of items for teens and tweens such as:
- Movie gift cards and other gift cards
- Board games (complete)
- Things to do like beading, lego, other building projects for both boys and girls.
- We are often in need of slippers, other winter wear like scarves, jackets, hoodies etc.
- Plus size clothing
- Gift cards for grocery stores
Restrictions: No Stuffed Toys
Any New items collected will be donated to BC Children’s Hospital.
- Restrictions: No Stuffed Toys For more information and to view wish list items by youth please visit: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/NR/rdonlyres/F9C808BD-7166-4A28-9E17-131AC9EAB977/68986/CLWishList2014.pdf
The response from it has been amazing. Read more about what’s happened in an upcoming post titled: Above and Beyond. We haven’t gotten to the final results yet, but after December 7th they will be posted.
If you would like to run a Toy Drive with your pack, but don’t know where to start I suggest contacting the following:
- Salvation Army (new items only)
- Local Christmas Hamper (varies)
- Emergency Shelters that take children (varies)
- Churches in your area (used and new)
- Hospitals (new items only)
- If you’re from the Lower mainland in British Columbia, check out Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau
If you’re wondering why some things can only be delivered to one place or another, keep in mind that when you’re taking a used toy to a hospital there maybe a type of bacteria that may harm a child who is battling cancer. Other places accept that new toys are expensive and not as easy to donate, but know that Johnny loved playing with her dinosaurs when she was 6 but now that he’s 8, he prefers more stimulating games that are more about coordination and not so much imagination. There could be a 6 year old in their area that would just be overjoyed to have a great looking dinosaur to play with. Local hospitals also have Amazon wishlists that can give you some direction to what they would appreciate- most of these toys and games don’t stay with the hospital- they go with the child after they’re feeling better.
Do you have any suggestions on how to run a successful Toy Drive with Cub Scouts?