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West Vancouver toy drive aims to 'bring brightness' this season

It’s not too late to help ensure a merry Christmas for kids in your own community
West Vancouver Police Department Chief Const. John Lo, West Vancouver Transit maintenance manager Peter Coles, and West Vancouver Fire & Rescue assistant Chief Jeremy Calder hold the first donations for this year’s toy drive. | West Vancouver Police Department

West Vancouver’s first responders and bus crews are being deputized and pressed into service by Santa, once again.

The West Vancouver Police Department, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue and West Vancouver Transit have kicked off their 2023 toy drive in hopes of ensuring a bit of Christmas magic finds its way to every kid on the North Shore.

Donation boxes at the police department, fire halls and West Van transit depot are now open for drop-offs of unwrapped toys, which the North Shore Christmas Bureau and maybe the jolly old elf himself will deliver to local families in need.

The toy drive, now in its 18th year, has always been well supported by the community, said Sgt. Mark McLean, but this year more than ever, they’re hoping to see residents add an extra box or two to their regular holiday shopping.

“Our donation basket here at our headquarters has always been overflowing and we’ve always had to do multiple deliveries to the Christmas Bureau and they’re always really grateful and really thrilled with the support that we received from the community,” he said. “This is an opportunity to donate toys and really bring brightness into kids’ lives who really need it at this time of year. In the current economy, and with the cost of living, there are more and more people relying on things like food banks and toy drives.”

Specifically, they are seeking new, unwrapped toys that would appeal to kids up to the age of 18. Used toys, stuffies and cash are not accepted at the bins. The toy drive lasts until Dec. 20.

People can donate at the following locations:

• West Vancouver Police Department, 755 16th St.

• West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Hall 1, 760 16th St.

• West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Hall 2, 6272 Marine Dr.

• West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Hall 3, 4895 Marine Dr.

• West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Hall 4, 965 Cross Creek Rd.

• West Vancouver Blue Bus 221 Lloyd Ave., North Vancouver, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.