British Columbia

Drive-thru event at PNE aims to collect toys for Christmas Bureau

The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau is holding a two-day drive-thru toy drop-off on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition to collect donations for a holiday season that is expected to see strong demand for the organization's services.

Drop-off event runs Nov. 12-13; organization expects strong demand this year

People drop off toys at the Christmas Bureau’s toy drive-thru at the PNE in Vancouver on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau is holding a two-day drive-thru toy drop-off on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver to collect donations for a holiday season that is expected to see strong demand for the organization's services.

The event is being held Thursday and Friday.

The bureau says help is greatly needed because other fundraising events it usually hosts have been cancelled or scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Susan Levang said her organization is also anticipating "unprecedented" demand this year, "as families grapple with the financial realities of COVID-19."

"We are really looking for the community to open their hearts," she said.

Levang said mini-doughnuts and coffee will be available to people who donate, courtesy of a donation from B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison.

Organizers gather toys and donations at the PNE in Vancouver on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

People are being encouraged to reserve a drop-off time window on from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and from 6 a.m. to noon Friday. Toys must be new and unwrapped.

Levang said health protocols are being followed to make sure the event is safe.

The event was developed with guidance from Vancouver Coastal Health, organizers say.

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