Local Kinsmen toy drive has been helping kids, families for 70 years

in Around Town/Community/Local News by

It was back in 1947 when the local Kinsmen Club of Lindsay first realized there were children who may not experience the joy of receiving a toy for Christmas.

Their response 70 years ago was the first Lindsay Kinsmen Toy Drive, which saw the collection of gently used and broken toys that were repaired by Kinsmen members and distributed to children in need.

Over the years this project has evolved to meet the needs of the community. Now toy barrels are distributed to local merchants, schools and businesses for donations of new, unwrapped toys that are collected by the Lindsay Kinsmen Club. The toys are then distributed to families the week before Christmas.

The Kinsmen Club recently updated their process on how toys are distributed. The new process allows parents to choose the Christmas presents for their children from available donations, to ensure their kids receive something they will enjoy.

In 2016, over 800 local children benefited from the collection and distribution of donated toys through this service program.

It’s estimated the Lindsay Kinsmen dedicate over 1,200 hours to the toy drive.

The community has long rallied behind the project to make it a success, with barrels placed throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. Without these generous donations of toys and money, the project could not succeed, according to the club.

Many local businesses also assist with the toy drive. For example, the local radio station, BOB FM, donates a significant amount of airtime to help promote the project. Canadian Tire donates a display area and many Kinsmen donate the use of their trucks for picking up the contents of the barrels.

Some important dates for the toy drive are as follows:

  • November 10: Barrel delivery to merchants & schools.
  • November 19: Lindsay Santa Clause Parade toy collection.
  • December 2: Toy Mountain at Canadian Tire (meet & Greet Lindsay Kinsmen)
  • December 13: Text to recipients to remind of pickup day
  • December 15: Pickup of most toy barrels, some stay out until December 22.
  • December 16: Family pickup 9:00am to 3:00 pm at Kin Central, James St, just north of Mary St
  • December 17: Family pickup 9:00am to 1:00 pm
  • December 19: Family pickup 9:00am to 1:00 pm
  • December 22: Balance of barrels picked up

To donate toys or money to the toy drive, contact Kinsmen at lindsaykinsmen@hotmail.com. Tax receipts are available for monetary donations of $10 or more.

All applications to Lindsay Kinsmen Toy Drive to receive toys are done through Social Services 705-324-9870 ext. 3299.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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