Each year, the Women’s Centre hosts a holiday Toy Room, where women can pick gifts for their children and themselves for the holidays. Toy Room is similar to our Birthday Gift program, however on a much bigger scale and for two whole weeks in December. In 2018, 3,864 individuals benefited from Toy Room, which includes both women and their children receiving a gift.
So how does Toy Room work? First off, donations and more donations. All year we accept toy donations of new and unopened toys, but usually mid-November they ramp up for Toy Room. We have donation bins set up in the Centre for anyone willing to drop gifts off during our work hours, as well as helping other companies and businesses organize toy drives. We also encourage people to ask their own networks for donations, do mini Toy Drives for staff holiday parties, or ask for donations in lieu of birthday/Christmas gifts.
The biggest factor in making Toy Room successful is the community. That means you! The gifts for children include the most popular toys on the market for the current season. The gifts for women include plushy blankets, pajamas, tea and coffee sets, and bath items, basically anything that helps promote treating oneself and self-care. We also need lots of wrapping paper and gift wrapping items. We accept either new or used wrapping items, as long as they are in good condition.
Toy Room is run by numerous volunteers and the staff at the Centre. These volunteers can be a group through an organization, a group of friends, or even individual drop-in volunteers. All our volunteers are women in order to keep the space safe for women. Volunteers for Toy Room are responsible for bringing toys upstairs from the basement, sorting and organizing the toys, booking appointments for women, escorting women through Toy Room, and wrapping gifts. We also need volunteers, either women or men, who can pick up Toy Drive gifts and bring them into the Centre.
Our 2019 Annual Toy Room runs from Monday, December 9 to Wednesday, December 18, and women are asked to make appointments to visit Toy Room to accommodate as many families as possible. We begin accepting appointments on Monday, November 25.
For more information on where, how, and what to donate click here.
We look forward to making the holidays brighter for women and their families in our community!