Monday, December 14, 2009

Olive Jeejeebhoy and Scott Mission Bring Christmas to Needy Kids

Ever wonder what happens to the toys collected during the CHUM Christmas Wish toy drive during the Christmas season? Well, the Scott Mission is now a big recipient.

When I was able to volunteer for the Mission's Free Toy Store under the direction of "volunteer extraordinaire Olive Jeejeebhoy" -- also my mother -- we'd spend a few days in the summer organizing donated toys from individuals, and Mum would spend the Fall soliciting donations of new toys from businesses. It was difficult to get donations of always-popular toys like lego, but she managed to make financial donations stretch more and more to acquire these coveted toys for the Mission's clients.

The program, which is more than 50
years old, was initially run by a group of older women who selected the
toys for the clients. Jeejeebhoy felt the clients should be able to
choose what their kids wanted and needed.

Before long, she was
heavily involved in planning the program from sourcing free toys to
carefully making use of grant money needed to purchase them, to
organizing intake, volunteers and toy distribution.
(Joanna Lavoie, Inside Toronto, 9 December 200

Now CHUM apparently has replaced a lot of that work, and after more than a quarter of a century of volunteering at the Mission, my mother has taken a less onerous role and volunteers every day during the two weeks the Free Toy Store is open while managing the clients and volunteers to ensure things go smoothly. Because of my health, I haven't been able to volunteer there for quite awhile, but if you're looking for some way to give back that involves you in the community at large, consider volunteering for the Scott Mission Free Toy Store next Christmas. Read all about it in the excellent InsideToronto.com article!

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