Toys for the North Sets New Record in Donations in 2020

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Thunder Bay – NEWS – Toys for the North is going to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of the pandemic caused cancellations this year, seeing how the groups across Canada have come together is encouraging, and is seeing that the spirit of the program is stronger than COVID-19.

Planning is underway for how toys will be distributed in Northern Ontario. North Star Air and the RCMP and Retired RCMP are working out the logistics of the program for the year.

The Canadian Toy Association is excited to announce that its toy industry members have donated a record-smashing $265,000 worth of toys for its annual Toys for the North program this year.

Canada and one of the coldest inhabited regions in the world. Toys for the North also aims to serve three additional communities in the Northwest Territories this year.

“It is an honour to be part of Toys for the North and to witness the program’s extraordinary growth first hand. Sally and I are so proud to be able to help make a difference in the lives of Canadian families year after year,” said Jim Thomson, CEO of Thomson Terminals Limited.

In December 2019, 6000 pounds of toys arrived in Thunder Bay for the annual RCMP Toys for the North campaign.

The toys arrived onboard an RCAF Hercules aircraft and were then transported under the watchful eyes of North Star Air, Gardewine Transport, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Force personnel.

Toys for the North is an initiative run in partnership by the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and logistics supplier Thomson Terminals. The program, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, works to provide children’s toys to families in some of Canada’s most remote regions who cannot access or often afford children’s toys during the holiday season.

This the 2nd year in a row donations provided by the Canadian toy industry to the Toys for the North have set an annual record. Donations in 2019 set an annual record of $100,000 which was a 100% increase from the previous year. In 2020, donations to the program increased by more than 165% year-over-year, demonstrating a growing recognition and understanding of the program’s importance for the communities and families it supports.

“We are very grateful for the incredible show of support the Toys for the North has received from our industry partners again this year,” said Graeme Bissett, Chair, Canadian Toy Association. “Without the generous donations made by the CTA’s toy manufacturer, distributor and retail members, this program would not be possible. It is because of their continued support that this program continues to achieve new milestones and reach more families each year.”

Since 2010, Toys for the North has distributed over $650,000 worth of toys to families in Northern parts of Labrador, Manitoba, Nunavut and Ontario who cannot otherwise access or afford toys for their children for the holiday season.

“Toys for the North is a very important program for Canada’s northern communities that has helped spread joy to countless families throughout the holidays for the past ten years,” said Toys for the North coordinator, Cpl. Rob Buller. “With the increased isolation this year has brought for many, we believe it is more essential than ever that we come together as a nation to do our part for the children and families in these communities.”

This year, toys will be distributed to over 30 communities in the areas surrounding Thunder Bay, Goose Bay and Iqaluit, including Grise Fiord, the most northern permanent settlement in Canada and one of the coldest inhabited regions in the world. Toys for the North also aims to serve three additional communities in the Northwest Territories this year.

“It is an honour to be part of Toys for the North and to witness the program’s extraordinary growth first hand. Sally and I are so proud to be able to help make a difference in the lives of Canadian families year after year,” said Jim Thomson, CEO of Thomson Terminals Limited.

The 2020 Toys for the North program has been made possible by generous donations from (in alphabetical order):

  • Asmodee Canada/Lion Rampant Imports
  • Crayola Canada
  • FoxMind Canada Enterprises Ltd.
  • FUJIFILM Canada Inc.
  • Funrise Canada
  • Hasbro Canada
  • LEGO Canada Inc.
  • Mattel Canada
  • MGA Entertainment Canada
  • Next Generation Distributors
  • Ravensburger North America
  • Sago Sago Toys Inc.
  • Scholastic Canada Ltd.
  • Spin Master
  • Suncoat Products Inc.
  • Toysmith
  • Wiggles 3D>/li>

The Canadian Toy Association:Founded in 1932, CTA is a not-for-profit trade Association whose members are manufacturers, importers, distributors, and marketers of toys, games, seasonal and hobby products. CTA provides a strong voice for the $1.8 billion toy industry in Canada and internationally. Through the Association, CTA’s members work together for the betterment of the industry. For more information, please visit https://www.canadiantoyassociation.ca/.

Mastermind Toys, Canada’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer, is contributing their signature gift wrap, designed in-house in Canada, for the 2020 Toys for the North initiative.