Interior Savings staff (and a couple of happy helpers) collected donations and new toys for the Toys for Joys campaign on Nov. 28. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Toys for Joys helps give local children a Merry Christmas

This year’s event brought in cash donations and toys and provided donors with a hot breakfast

This year’s Toys for Joys campaign, run by the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society (SCEFS) to provide Christmas toys for children in our area, took place at St. Alban’s Church Hall in Ashcroft on Nov. 28.

Employees of Interior Savings were on hand to accept donations and serve a complimentary hot breakfast to everyone who donated. People who came in got a sit-down breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and sausage, while those who took the drive-thru option received a hot breakfast sandwich.

It is the first time that Interior Savings has taken part in the campaign, and Ashcroft branch manager Karma Kubbernus said that working with the E. Fry Society was a logical partnership for the organization.

“The Interior Savings staff played a huge part in making this event so incredible,” says SCEFS executive director Trish Schachtel. “We couldn’t have done it without their energy and enthusiasm.”

The drive-thru option was a very popular one on a cold and frosty morning, with close to two dozen people taking away breakfast; more people drove through just to drop off toys. Another 45 people enjoyed a sit-down breakfast at St. Alban’s. Almost $650 in cash was received, along with many unwrapped new toys. Including a donation from Second Time Around, a total of more than $1,250 was raised, and more than 200 toys were collected.

The Toys for Joys program started in the area in 2009 and ran through 2012, with breakfast provided at the Under the Bridge restaurant in Ashcroft. When the then-owner left restaurant the breakfasts ceased, but toy collection continued. The breakfast program was started again in 2015, and has run every year since.

Toys for Joys provides toys and Christmas gifts to children aged 0 to 18 whose families need some extra support during the holiday season. The program serves residents in the region served by SCEFS (Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Spences Bridge, the Ashcroft Band, and the Bonaparte Band), and applications have been accepted along with applications for Christmas hampers through the Community Resource Society.

Schachtel notes that it is events like Toys for Joys that make living and working in the community so amazing.

“The power of caring, sharing, and giving is alive and well in our communities. It was so heartwarming to see parents with children at our event role modeling and demonstrating the hidden super-human powers of giving back and helping out.

“For everyone who supported the event, the biggest thank you for making a child’s Christmas magical.”

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Volunteers at the Toys for Joys drive-thru had to bundle up well to keep warm. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

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