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Toyz 4 Tots Society accepting donations to help local teens

Returning for a second run at delivering items and materials to families in need, the Peace Country Toyz 4 Tots Society is running another Backpack drive for teens. Much like last year’s drive, the idea is to see backpacks filled with donated items a teenager might need, which are then donated to families who applied to receive a bag.

Toyz for Tots Society Board Member Trena Huson says the idea for the drive initially came up in discussion with Family and Community Support Services, noting that teenagers were notoriously difficult to collect amenities for.

“You can get them a gift card, but they don’t play with toys or they want video games or whatever else,” she explains.

The campaign has a total of 75 backpacks this year that are available to be filled with donations. Huson says despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Grande Prairie community has stepped up to the plate and already exceeded her expectations.

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“I was going to be happy if we got 25 [bags] filled and we have 30 filled,” she says. Huson adds last she counted, there were enough donations to likely fill 15 more bags.

The Toyz 4 Tots Society is asking for primarily simple things to stuff their backpacks with, such as packaged snacks, cleanliness, and personal hygiene materials, winter apparel, socks, water bottles, earbuds, and the like.

Drop off locations for donations include the Mighty Peace Harley-Davidson, Top Gear Cycles, and the Boathouse located in the Prairie Mall. The Peace Country Toyz 4 Tots Society can also be contacted directly via Facebook to arrange a donation pick-up.

Stuffed bags are being handed out at local food banks, as well as the Odyssey House. Huson says she is excited to see the results of this year’s campaign, as well as to continue the project in future years.

“It’s amazing what’s in these backpacks. People just fill them and they’re filled with love,” she says. “It just keeps going and going so hopefully next year it will be even bigger.”

Huson adds the society will be accepting donations until shortly before Christmas.

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