The Bargain Shop is halfway through its annual toy drive to support charities in the community, and is excited by the community’s show of support so far.
The toy drive began on Nov. 14. The shop will be collecting monetary donations, as well as toy donations until Dec. 5. So far, they have raised $3,792 and hope to reach their goal of $7,000 by Dec. 5.
Dawn Gray, store manager for The Bargain Shop in Fort Frances, said this is a great opportunity for community members to give back, especially if they are not sure where to donate.
“Everybody’s circumstances are different, so this is a great way to provide a child with something that maybe they really want and they won’t have the opportunity to get without it,” Gray said.
All monetary and toy donations will go to the Salvation Army. Gray said the monetary donations are tallied by the company and then they are given a payout which is then used to purchase items that the Salvation Army still requires. Gray said most of the items purchased are gifts for older children such as headphones. She adds that this is common as most of the toys donated are for younger children.
The donations and purchased items are then collected and brought to the Salvation Army where they will be distributed.
Along with donating to the Salvation Army, The Bargain Shop is also participating in the Adopt-an-Angel program.
The Adopt-an-Angel program helps children in need by reaching out to the community to purchase Christmas gifts for children who, without the program, would likely not receive them. The program is run through Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services office in Fort Frances. The program helps children from low income families, as well as well as foster children and other children receiving help through the, get gifts at Christmas.
The Bargain Shop has a Christmas tree in the store decorated with the angel ornaments and purchase a toy for the angel they chose. For privacy reasons, each angel has a fake name but details such as the child’s age and gender are listed, as well as what toys they are asking for.
Shoppers then purchase the items on the list and bring them to the store, where the items will be kept until organizers come to collect the donations. These donations also go towards The Bargain Shop’s toy drive goal.
Gray said they are happy to reach over half of their goal and are looking forward to their Fill a Sleigh Day, which is the final day of the toy drive and also a chance to get last minute donations in. This year, the company has decided to donate 10 per cent of all sales made on Dec. 5, excluding tobacco, lottery tickets and prepaid cards, back to the Salvation Army.