Photo & Interview Opportunity - Needy families greatly appreciate free toys and warm clothes from The Scott Mission

    TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - Sarah(*) and her child left all they had to escape
an abusive relationship and start a new life.
    They moved to Barrie so Sarah could study optometry on a student loan.
Eventually she had to quit because she couldn't afford it anymore.
    In 2005, Sarah was struggling and living on social assistance in Toronto.
That December she walked through The Scott Mission's door and received
counselling, encouragement and a large bag of gifts - coats, mitts, new toys
and food for a Christmas meal.
    "I left and thought, 'They're so nice!" she said. "I also thought about
how hard it would be to wrap the gifts without my daughter seeing. We live in
one room," she explains.
    She was overjoyed when she opened the bag and found everything already
    "My daughter was just ecstatic," she says. "That Christmas, she forgot
about all the horrible things that had happened to her."
    On Wednesday December 5 at 10:30 a.m., The Scott Mission invites the
media to come and see how the Toy Store is helping to ease the stress and
heartache of parents like Sarah during the Christmas season.
    This year, The Scott Mission's Toy Store will provide 2,455 children from
low-income families with brand new stuffed toys, books, dolls, stocking
stuffers, hats, mittens, board games, puzzles and sports equipment free of
charge. Parents pre-register for the program and are able to "shop" for their
toys from December 1 to 14, by appointment.
    The Scott Mission will also have Hamper Days from December 3 - 20. On
these days, the Mission will provide 2,850 families with a turkey and a
grocery gift card for the Christmas season. And, as always, Christmas dinner
will be served with all the trimmings for over 300 homeless and needy guests.

    What:    Interviews in The Scott Mission's Toy Store with shoppers and
             Executive Director David Smith

    When:    Wednesday, December 5 at 10:30 a.m.

    Where:   The Scott Mission
             502 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
             (northwest corner of College and Spadina)

    (*) name changed to protect identity

    The Scott Mission has been responding to the needs of the poor, homeless,
abandoned and vulnerable of all ages since 1941 by offering practical,
emotional and spiritual support for thousands of people each year. Through its
efforts, the Mission, a Christian non-denominational organization based in
downtown Toronto, offers many programs to support the poor and homeless in our
    The Mission offers: daily hot meals, a low-cost daycare, summer camp for
children and youth, free good-quality clothing, groceries, shower and laundry
facilities for the homeless, an overnight program, foot clinic, after-school
clubs and out-of-town retreats for shut-ins. For more information on The Scott
Mission, visit

For further information:

For further information: or to confirm your attendance, please contact
Avril Henry, Director, Public Relations, The Scott Mission, Tel: (416)
923-8872 ext. 322, or Melissa Yue, Communications
Coordinator, The Scott Mission, Tel: (416) 923-8872 ext. 443,

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