"Toys For The North" Begin Their Journey

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian Toy Association
Thomson Terminals Limited

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Nearly 5000 children in northern Canada's most isolated and poor communities will soon be eagerly awaiting a delivery from a familiar figure dressed in red.  But it won't be Santa Claus...it will be a representative from the RCMP and he or she will be bringing gift-wrapped toys donated by the Canadian Toy Association.

Now in its 6th year, the "Toys for the North" toy drive targets its deliveries in rotations across the vast reaches of Canada's north.  This year, toy packages will be delivered to northern Ontario and Newfoundland/Labrador. In previous years, children in Yukon, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have been among the lucky recipients.

Toys for the North is an entirely volunteer-run program that asks for goods, services and manpower to help make the holiday season a little brighter in the most desolate regions of the country.  The member companies of the Canadian Toy Association representing Canada's toy industry donate the majority toys with additional donations coming from the public in the Greater Toronto Area. Thomson Terminals provides the warehousing and transportation for the first leg of the journey.  The RCMP coordinates the sorting, transportation and delivery of all the toys and each year selects the neediest communities.

"The Canadian Toy Association is delighted to announce a donation this year in excess of $65,000 in new toys" stated Steve Morris, Chair of the Canadian Toy Association. "Our member companies embraced this idea enthusiastically.  We all want to let these children know that there are people who care about them and remember them during the holiday season.  We know these toys will go a long way to help stimulate, educate and entertain them during the long cold winter months."

The CTA collects toys for Toys for the North throughout the year-- at media events for Hot Toys of Summer and Hot Toys for the Holidays, as well as additional member donations.  In addition, a number of companies--Bandai, Crayola, Hasbro, Mattel, and the Orb Factory-- contributed major donations of $5000 or more.

The logistics involved in getting thousands of toys from a warehouse in Toronto to isolated communities that may only be accessible by float plane, ice highway or snowmobile is the challenge faced by the volunteers at the RCMP.

"Each of us are busy and have causes that are near to our hearts.  The Toys for the North project is one of those opportunities to impact and help communities that are often missed in the season of Christmas giving." Inspector Andrew Cowan RCMP coordinator for Toys for the North.

Al Russell from Thomson Terminals went on to say, "We are proud and honoured to be part of this great cause. From myself, Sally and Jim Thomson and the entire Thomson Terminals family we wish a very merry Christmas to all our friends in the north."

From Trenton, the toys will be transported on Canadian Forces trucks and planes whenever there is available cargo space, to staging points in Goose Bay and northern Ontario.  From there, RCMP and community volunteer groups will wrap and label the toys and then transport them to their ultimate destination--into the hands of happy children.  Wherever possible, RCMP and local leaders coordinate an event where families can gather for a festive day or evening celebration around the toy distribution to every child.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information: Cpl. Louise Savard, RCMP Media Relations, (905) 876-9709; Ms. Danielle Russell, Canadian Toy Association, 416-596-0671 ex. 222


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