One driver happily donates cash to the toy drive for Santas Anonymous on Dec. 2. The stop at Fields brought in more toys, while the stops off the highway brought in more cash donations. Photo by Megan Roth/Eckville Echo

Third annual road-side toy drive a success

The toy drive brought in over $6,000 for Santas Anonymous

Members of Eckville’s Fire Department were out and about on Dec. 2 collecting donations of cash and toys for the town’s Santas Anonymous campaign.

Now in it’s third year, the road-side toy drive had the members of the fire department worked in pairs at three different locations around the town.

Drivers were stopped coming off the highway at the GTI, at the four-way stop by Fields and near the UFA Petroleum.

According to Lieutenant John Philips, the department has raised roughly $5,000 the past two years of the toy drive.

“The first year we did it we got a lot more toys, and last year was a lot more cash donations,” said Philips who was manning the stop at near Fields.

The toy drive stops drives at key intersections in town and asks if they would like to donate to the toy drive with either new toys or with cash.

Those who chose not to donate were allowed to go along their way with a hand shake or a smile and a wave. Those who donated were gratefully thanked.

A lot of the cash donations came in from those being stopped coming in off the highway.

“The stop at GTI usually brings in the most cash. A lot of people coming in off the highway don’t really have new toys with them,” said Philips.

Toy donations are most common at the stop by Fields. Those stopped who don’t have anything to donate are known for going into the store and buying an item or two for the drive.

“Being a corporations, Field’s can’t donate without permission. But, what they try to do is give the staff discount to anyone who is donating their purchase to the drive,” Philips explained.

This year the toy drive brought in more donations than in years past. The total monetary donations came out to a total of $6,002.50.

Along with the cash donations, the citizens of Eckville also donated two tables full of toys. There was also a few food donations which were donated to the food bank.

“We are blown away… The generosity this town has shown today is absolutely amazing,” the Eckville Fire Department’s Facebook page said after the donations had all been counted.

The donations will be given to Santas Anonymous to help families in need over the holiday season.

“Everything will stay right here in Eckville, which is great,” said Philips.

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The back of the truck at the Fields check-stop was pretty much full of donated toys only an hour or so after the toy drive began. The firefighters at the location began putting the toys in the back of the truck as they ran out of room. Photo by Megan Roth/Eckville Echo

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