Kathy Janzen

Volunteers help with gift drive

A treasury of toys is being held in a small basement room at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

A treasury of toys is being held in a small basement room at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and being managed by three retired bank tellers.

Kathy Janzen, Wendy Schindel and Maxine Millis first became involved with the Summerland Fire Department’s fundraiser, Toys and Toonies for Tots to Teens, back in the late 1990s.

They were working for CIBC at the time and it was something all the bank staff had decided to support.

Since that time they have all three retired and taken over care and control of the operation because they say they have a good system and it works.

The bank continues to provide a room for them. Shelves have been built and labelled in order to store and organize the toys.

“When we were working here, if you ever needed an uplifting experience you’d just run downstairs and rearrange some toys and it just made you feel better.” Janzen said.

Throughout the year the firefighters organize events in order to raise cash and collect toys. Many businesses and organizations, schools and other banks all contribute to the cause.

“It’s a very generous community. We wouldn’t be able to do this if we weren’t given all this stuff,” said Janzen.

Once the toys and cash are collected, the firefighters deliver it to the ladies and they then proceed to sort the items and place them on the shelves.

In November a form is sent out to the families that the Food Bank serves. The forms are filled in specifying the age and gender of each child and what that child would like for gifts. They are allotted one main gift and several stocking stuffers.

The ladies then proceed to fill the requests, drawing from the shelves and going shopping with the cash for items that they do not have in stock.

The bags of gifts are then taken to the Food Bank and given out to the families in time for Christmas.

When asked as to why they continue to volunteer their time in this way, Janzen said,

“Oh because it makes you feel so good and it’s fun. It’s very rewarding.”

Schindel added, “When you see those families coming, they’re so grateful. Some of them are crying they are just so thankful. It really gets you in the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of giving.”

“It makes you feel good that those kids are going to have a nice Christmas,” Millis said.

If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at carlamcleod@shaw.ca or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chants of ‘Parky, Parky, Parky’ herald ECM victory

The Penticton ECM Promotions atoms clinch silver medal at Coquitlam tourney

Summerland basketball team advances to Provincials

Summerland senior girls team wins regional meet, will compete in Langley

Summerland property taxes forecast to rise

Proposed municipal budget calls for increase of four per cent

South Okanagan Men and Women Who Care schedule first meetings of 2020

The 100 Men Who Care Penticton and 100 Women Who Care South Okanagan meetings scheduled

South Okanagan mountain bore racist name for a half century

Nkawala Mountain was initially named in connection with the deaths of two black men.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Most Read