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Small community provides thousands of Christmas gifts for children in need


Thousands of gifts are being prepared to be sent to families across Simcoe County.

Volunteers with the Friends of Keewatin were busy packaging boxes and filling vehicles full of presents for children ahead of Christmas morning.

The group collected over 4,000 toys that will be distributed to local charities and organizations.

"These are children who otherwise might not receive a toy at all because their families can't afford it," said Wayne Coombs, the president of Friends of Keewatin.

On Wednesday, charities like the Lions Clubs of Port McNicoll and Coldwater and the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre came to the distribution site to begin the delivery process.

"We are supporting 27 families this year with a total of 68 kids, so every toy that we get helps us reach our goal," said Sheri Black, the secretary for the Lions Club.

"Their support has made a huge difference in how many families we can service. Last year we serviced over 150 families. This year we're already totalling over 250," said Kendall Lamb, the young family and child service coordinator for Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre.

The list of charities and organizations has grown this year to include two Ukrainian Welcome Committees in Barrie and North Simcoe.

The groups say many families arrived in Canada with very little and are still adjusting to life in Simcoe County but knowing they can provide a special Christmas for their children brings comfort during a time of uncertainty.

"The toys are very important for people who came from Ukraine," said Iryna Leskiv, an organizer with the Barrie committee.

"We thank you so so much from all my heart. Thank you." Top Stories

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