Some of the toy donations collected for Shuswap Family Centre during the fire department toy drive, Dec. 2022. (Contributed)

Some of the toy donations collected for Shuswap Family Centre during the fire department toy drive, Dec. 2022. (Contributed)

Still a need for Christmas gifts for teens: Shuswap Family Centre

Successful Salmon Arm Fire Department toy drive provides gifts for children

Following a successful toy drive hosted by the Salmon Arm Fire Department, the Shuswap Family Centre is now in need of gifts for their teenage recipients.

Teenagers are not always well-represented in the annual toy drive, said Patricia Thurston, the centre’s executive director.

“The whole community is really good about the toys, and we help well over 700 kids get a present,” said Thurston. “It’s the teenagers that we’re lacking.”

The centre donates a gift to teenagers up to age 19, so gifts other than toys are needed. Thurston said that in the past, things like toiletries, shaving kits and gift certificates for hair cuts have been appreciated. As well, gift cards for a dinner and a movie night out are always popular.

Children and teens come to the family centre and shop for gifts for themselves, so Thurston said it’s nice that they’re able to pick what they really want. Each shopper gets a book, a stocking stuffer-sized gift and a larger present. Thurston said the centre tries to offer toys and gifts around a $40 price point.

“The fire department comes to the rescue in more ways than one,” said Thurston of the fire department’s toy drive. “The generosity of the community was unbelievable, and I’m so grateful to live where we live.”

The fire department toy drives have been going on since 2018, and the holiday shopping program goes back about 34 years in Thurston’s estimation.

The centre is accepting donations for teens until Dec. 23. Donations can be dropped off Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the centre, 681 Marine Park Dr. NE, Salmon Arm. Phone 250-832-2170 with any questions.

READ MORE: White Lake residents generously support fire department food drive

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