A website that helps its users to buy and sell used items is hoping Islanders will return the favour to benefit local children.
UsedPEI.com has created a unique Christmas toy drive, with donations going to the Western School Board, the Island Pregnancy Centre and Chances Family Centre.
The event will be held at That Fun Place, 401 Capital Dr. in Charlottetown, on Dec. 8.
UsedPEI, along with its parent site UsedEverywhere.com, are aiming to give back to those who use the online marketplace, and have employed “community angels” like Alicia Packwood in Charlottetown to organize events like this toy drive.
“Something that’s unique about it is that we’re actually accepting gently used toys as well as new, so we’ve had a really good response to that aspect of it,” said Packwood.
“We had a really good response from people wanting to drop off toys right away, so we actually put the drop-off box (out) two weeks ago and we’ve already filled it up a couple of times.”
Everyone who drops off a toy on Saturday will receive a ballot for a That Fun Place family pass, which includes up to six children.
UsedPEI is looking for a mixture of toys, including some for infants. According to Packwood, “gently used” simply means toys that are clean and unbroken.
The items donated to Chances Family Centre will assist its Christmas program that provides support for 120 families Island-wide, while the school board in Summerside will identify students of families in need who could use the toys.
“We felt the school board in Summerside would be a good fit. It will be undisclosed who receives (toys) within the school board,” said Packwood. “They’ll be able to distribute the toys to those who need it.”
A similar toy drive will be held in British Columbia through UsedVictoria.com later in December.
The P.E.I. event runs from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and organizers are also hoping to place a donation box in Summerside for those who are unable to attend in Charlottetown.
“It’s already really exceeded my expectations,” Packwood said of the response to the inaugural toy drive.
“A lot of families who aren’t in need this time of year, they find they want to help out others as well as make room for the new toys they’re buying, so it’s a perfect place to recycle the toys that are very gently used and give them back to someone who would appreciate them.”