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Innisfil’s Christmas for Kids charity sees record high numbers

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Volunteers with the Innisfil Christmas for Kids (C4K) campaign have been keeping busy to ensure a memorable holiday season for children in need.

“The demand this year is great. A lot of people that have never had to ask for help before are having to call us,” said Myrlene Boken, Innisfil Christmas for Kids President.

This year, the charity is experiencing a record number of families needing assistance. So far, they have 654 children on their list.

“I found an article that talked about our program five years ago. We had 283 children on December the 9th. So this year, we have three times that,” said Boken.

Greater need also means more volunteers, including some as young as seven years old.

“Sorting out the toys.. and putting them in the bags.. like finding the toys on the list, and I’m putting them inside the bags,” said young volunteer Alyson Williams.

All of the public schools in Innisfil are also involved with the campaign by hosting toy and food drives.

“The schools are very instrumental to a lot of what we do because they also help us through the year with our other programming as well,” said Boken.

Although it’s a lot of work, members say it’s all worth it when the clients come to pick up the donations.

“Sometimes they’re quite overwhelmed because it’s the first time that they’ve seen the real relief of not having to be stressed out, so we get hugs, we get tears,” said Boken.

Along with toys, the charity also looks for non-perishable food items, gift cards and clothing.

The Innisfil Christmas for Kids charity will collect toy donations until Dec 15.

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