Angel tree opens to healthy donation by the Taxi Guy

GETTING IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT Members of the team at The Taxi Guy delivered scores of new toys for the 2020 Angel Tree Campaign at Benson Hall on Thursday. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

It was a great start for 2020 Angel Tree program.

On Thursday, organizer Sue Rose opened the Angel Tree office doors at Kinsmen Club of Picton Benson Hall to find a number of vans filled to the top with unsolicited new toys to be donated the local Christmas charity programs by Rick Marshall and his team at The Taxi Guy.

“This is just a wonderful way to get started because we know the need is going to be more than we’ve ever experienced in our history,” Rose explained. “2020 has been tough for so many people and in Prince Edward County, that’s certainly true for the families that rely on the program.”

With more than 30 years experience running the Angel Tree program that helps local children have a bright Christmas morning, Rose can often tell before her office opens what kind of need there will be in Prince Edward County.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the tedious situation for families that are living paycheque to paycheque.

“We are really hopeful that our donors and those business and organizations that have supported us in the past will come through again for us,” Rose said. “The need this year will be greater than we’ve ever experienced.”

On Thursday, it was a first time supporter in Marshall and the members of his cab company that showed up and made the shelves at Angel Tree at Benson Hall not so bare.

“We’ve been collecting toys for a while now, not really know how we would distribute them but the Angel Tree program is a great fit and we are happy to help out with this great cause,” Marshall said.

The program is operated in coordination with The Children’s Foundation, a charitable arm of Highland Shores Children’s Aid.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, Rose is asking for both program applicants and donors to go online and visit http://thechildrensfoundation.ca/?page_id=1575 in order to fill out an application or see instructions on how to donate safely in 2020.