AMHERST, N.S. – The toy truck is back, and the folks at Amherst Toyota are looking to you to help them fill it with toys.
The car dealership’s annual Christmas toy drive is in full swing, appearing at local parades and events, and is inviting the rest of the local business community to take part.
“We’ve put out a corporate challenge to all the businesses in Amherst to collect toys, come down and drop them off for the toy drive,” said dealer principal Glenn Roberts. “We hope everyone gets into the spirit and collects some, and drops down for another successful year.”
The truck and its volunteers had a successful night at the Amherst Christmas parade, thanks to good weather and a large crowd, and are hoping for the same at upcoming parades in Oxford on Nov. 24, and Springhill on Dec. 7.
They are also taking part in Moonlight Madness events in Sackville, N.B., with all toys collected going to the Christmas Cheer program there. All toys collected in Cumberland County go to the local Christmas for Kids campaign.
“We’ve been doing it for a long time,” said Roberts. “We don’t want to lose momentum because the need gets bigger, so we need the results to continue to grow and match that need.”
This year they will be doing it without the large contribution of toys that normally come in from the famously lit up MacDonald family home in Pugwash, which decided to take a break this year.
Meanwhile, the Toyota team continues to look for new ways to get the most donations possible for those in need. To this end, they have formed a partnership with the local junior hockey team.
“One of the big events this year we didn’t do last year is we’re going to team up with the Ramblers,” said used car manager Troy Williams. “We’re going to be at their game on Dec. 2, collecting toys. We’ll have the truck there, we’ll be out on the ice, and we’re hoping for a big event.”
All employees at the dealership get into the spirit of the campaign, according to Roberts, who a said a new unwrapped toy is the cost of admission to the annual staff Christmas party. Toyota also sponsors a family at Autumn House for Christmas, providing them with everything from the turkey to gifts for the mother and children.
“It’s been really fulfilling, and we look forward to it every year,” he said. “It gets everyone in the giving spirit. We have a committee to help plan these things, and it’s not hard to get people on that committee. Everybody gets involved.”