REAPS Toy Drive Puts “Stuff” to Good Use
Prince George, B.C. – Come Monday the dedicated, community-minded people at REAPS will be busy distributing box loads of toys and other items to a long list of organizations around the city so that every youngster is assured of finding something for them under the Christmas tree.
REAPS held its 20th annual Toy Drive on Saturday, encouraging residents to drop off good quality used items which can serve to light up the eyes of a child instead of winding up in a transfer station or landfill.
Terri McClymont at REAPS says the toys are for distribution with various child advocacy groups in Prince George for the holiday season. “We have 13 agencies, like the Child Development Centre, Advocacy Against Poverty, AimHi and several others plus group homes too that need items for the children in group homes.”
As well, REAPS was collecting items for pets at the SPCA and the PG Humane Society.
McClymont says there is always strong community support for the Toy Drive. “Oh my goodness yes. Every year we get over 200 boxes of quality used toys that we box up and then distribute on Monday morning, and it’s being like Santa Claus when you open the back of the truck and drop off all the boxes. So of the 13 agencies we try to give roughly 10 to 13 boxes each.”
“It’s just amazing some of the stuff we get, we get Lego, Wii games, we get riding toys, kitchen sets, we get dolls and puzzles and a whole bunch of different things. So it’s just amazing what we see and the quality is just unreal, a lot of the stuff hasn’t even been opened or used.”
“Just looking at the board games and the puzzles and the Lego sets, it’s like wow and it’s awesome to see the generosity. And it’s great because we always have so much “stuff”, and there’s other children that don’t have the luxury of having all this extra stuff.”
She says for people who are on the “have” side, “it’s a great way to Winter clean instead of Spring clean and get ready for the holiday season when you’re bringing more stuff into the house. This is a way to give to the community.”
Asked if our ‘throw away” society actually benefits her efforts McClymont says “ya, we live in such a disposable lifestyle that it’s nice that people are looking at this stuff and reviewing what the children are actually playing with and getting rid of things that the children no longer play with or have outgrown. And this way it gives it another chance at life to be used and loved by another child.”
She says REAPS and their volunteers receive, sort, box and label everything “and then me and my co-worker Angela go up and down the stairs 200 times and load up the back of the truck and then we drive around delivering on Monday. It’s a good work-out,” she says with a jolly little chuckle.