Eco­nomic woes af­fect toy do­na­tions


The Sal­va­tion Army in Cal­gary says it has had to can­cel vol­un­teer shifts and close a ware­house be­cause the agency hasn’t re­ceived enough Christ­mas toys for work­ers to sort.

There are 7,000 chil­dren un­der the age of 14 reg­is­tered for the agency’s toy pro­gram in the city.

Of­fi­cials say 18,000 toys have been re­ceived so far, but about 40,000 are needed.

Spokes­woman Karen Livick says that in the past the agency has some­times seen fewer toys do­nated in some age groups than in oth­ers.

But this year do­na­tions are down gen­er­ally.

Livick says the or­ga­ni­za­tion is aware that buy­ing a toy may not be in ev­ery­one’s bud­get.

“I think it’s a di­rect re­sult of the eco­nomic cri­sis that we’re see­ing and ... start­ing to feel again in Cal­gary,” Livick said. “We’ve started to feel it for a cou­ple of years, but this year ... peo­ple are a lit­tle un­sure about their job sit­u­a­tion and what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the new year.

“They’re finding them­selves ... not be­ing able to buy that ex­tra toy to do­nate.”

There is un­cer­tainty in the oil­patch right now be­cause the price for Al­berta oil is low and Premier Rachel Notley is bring­ing in pro­duc­tion cuts in the new year.

Peo­ple can drop off new, un­wrapped toys un­til Dec. 15 at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around the city. Livick points out that the Sal­va­tion Army also ac­cepts mon­e­tary do­na­tions.

The Leth­bridge Sal­va­tion Army is in need of toys, too, and cit­i­zens can drop off toys at sev­eral lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the Sal­va­tion Army Thrift Store at 1249 3 Ave. S. and the Sal­va­tion Army Church at 1302 4 Ave. S. As part of the Sal­va­tion Army’s an­nual part­ner­ship with the Leth­bridge food banks, toys can also be do­nated at Toy Moun­tain in Cen­tre Vil­lage Mall, and there’s a toy bin at Park Place Shop­ping Cen­tre.

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