Oak Bay teen aims to collect 1,000 presents at annual toy drive

Oak Bay teen aims to collect 1,000 presents at annual toy drive

WATCH: An Oak Bay teenager is hoping to make the Christmas wishes of other children come true. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Along Oak Bay Avenue, the ‘giving spirit’ can be found around every corner.

This weekend, Leah Smith was in front of the Oak Bay Avenue Pharmasave operating her annual one-girl toy drive.

“This is my fourth consecutive year doing this,” explained Leah Smith.

The grade 11 student from Oak Bay High School collected new and gently-used toys from the community.

She will be delivering the donations to the Stan Hagen Centre for Families for the Salvation Army’s pop-up toy shop.

“I first read about the centre in the paper and thought it was a really cool initiative,” Smith said. “Not only are they taking new toys but also gently-used toys and it’s helping everybody.”

Smith started ‘Leah’s Toy Drive’ in grade 8.

Since its inception, hundreds of children in need have received gifts for the holidays, but this year she has her own Christmas wish.

She’s hoping to reach her goal of 1,000 presents.

“I’m hoping this will be the biggest year yet,” Smith explained.

Thanks to generous members of her community, Smith says she is well on her way to reaching her goal.

“It’s really nice for them to understand that it’s good to help other people,” explained Diane Payne, who dropped off donations today with her grandchildren. “They were so happy to do it.”

For more information about Leah’s Toy Drive, email [email protected]


Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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