Seven Stores Across Vancouver are Collecting Gifts and Toys for Families in Need Over the Holidays, With Help From Vancouver Firefighters
December 6, 2021 (Richmond, BC) - London Drugs is once again teaming up with the Vancouver Fire Fighters Charity to safely collect and deliver toys and gifts that will go directly to thousands of families in need this holiday season. The contactless toy drive was introduced last year, as many holiday events were forced to cancel as a result of COVID-19.
On Tuesday December 7 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Vancouver Firefighter Charities volunteers will be stationed outside seven London Drugs locations across Vancouver with holiday toy collection bins. Members of the public can contribute by safely dropping off gifts while maintaining physical distance. Alternatively, there is a drive-through option available at the London Drugs Kingsway store only, for those who prefer to remain in their vehicle.
All toys will be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at a special event at Pan Pacific Vancouver on December 15. The Bureau helps thousands of children in local communities by providing services including toy and gift donations over the holidays.
“With this being our second year of COVID-19, we continue to see a decrease in donations, but an increase in the number of families accessing the services of the Christmas Bureau,” said Chris Bayliss, Executive Director, Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. “We are hoping our community can help us during this difficult time by donating a toy or making a monetary contribution. Details can be found at www.lmcb.ca. We do this one toy, one child, one family at a time. No matter the situation, a child is a child at Christmas time, and during the holidays all they want is that toy to unwrap just like all of their friends.”
“Donations and support from the community is the reason we can safely and simply collect toys and gifts for thousands of families that depend on the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau,” said Clint Mahlman, president and COO, London Drugs. “We are so thankful to be collaborating with the Vancouver Firefighter Charities once again on this initiative, especially at a time when they are working hard to support flood relief efforts. It is more important than ever we do everything we possibly can to make this Christmas a happy one for families in need.”
The public is welcome to drop off new unwrapped toys and gifts for children at the following locations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday December 8:
- London Drugs – 710 Granville St.
- London Drugs – 2230 West Broadway
- London Drugs – 525 West Broadway
- London Drugs – 3328 Kingsway (drive-through option)
- London Drugs – 1622 Salt St. (Olympic Village)
- London Drugs – 4588 Dunbar St.
- London Drugs – 2091 West 42nd Ave
“In 2020, we identified barriers to donating during the holiday season due to the ongoing pandemic. Together, in 2020, London Drugs and Vancouver Firefighter Charities fostered a successful event, where an estimated $50,000 in toys were collected for the community,” said James Docherty, Executive Director, Vancouver Firefighter Charities. “Proudly, we are excited to continue this new holiday tradition for 2021. This year, adjacent communities have been devastated by natural disasters compounded by the ongoing pandemic - families in our community need our support more than ever. We encourage people to visit us on December 7 to drop off an unwrapped gift or make a monetary donation to our teams of off-duty firefighters.”
According to the Bureau, there is a particular need this year for gifts for tweens and teens. Popular gifts items for them include:
- Curling irons and hair dryers
- Electronics and gaming items
- Tablets or books
- Gift cards
If individuals are unable to drop off a toy at those locations, all Lower Mainland London Drugs locations will happily accept donations at the customer service desks which will be forwarded to a central location for distribution to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.
For more information, visit londondrugs.com.
About London Drugs
Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs sells to every province and territory in Canada through its online store www.londondrugs.com and has 79 physical stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. London Drugs offers customers a range of products from personal protection equipment for pandemic safety to digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 9,000 people with pharmacy and health care services at the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring Canadian company that supports Canadian brands and continues to position itself for future growth and development.
About Vancouver Firefighter Charities
Vancouver Firefighter Charities is how firefighters help people when they're not at the firehall. Firefighters raise funds, then build programs to help in-need and at-risk people of all ages directly, with all programs and fundraisers managed by off-duty Vancouver firefighters who give their personal time and donate funds directly to VFC through voluntary payroll donations. Since 2012 the Vancouver Firefighters' Payroll Donation program has raised more than $1,000,000 for charitable programs like the Snacks For Kids Nutritional Program that ensured 300,000 food donations were made to almost 3,500 at-risk youth in 50. Vancouver schools. VFC has other programs including the BC Burn Fund, Sports For Kids and Lifelines For Seniors and supports and partners with a multitude of charitable organizations and causes throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond.
About the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau
The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, which was established in 1930, serves as a centralized year-round warehouse for toys and gifts to be gathered, sorted, and shipped to up to 18 local Christmas Bureaus and many other community agencies that offer holiday giving programs. By way of this specialized network, the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (LMCB) distributes approx. 100,000 toys to Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley children. In addition to the toys and gifts, over $70,000 in food vouchers are distributed to families in need in Vancouver during the holiday season by the LMCB in their role as the Vancouver Christmas Bureau.