Realtor Chace Whitson, left, and builder Carson Shanks, delivered $2,000 in toys to Carey Salvador at the Mary Winspear Centre for the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers toy drive this month. The pair purchased the gifts from Buddies Toys in Sidney and challenge their counterparts to do the same or better this season. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Peninsula Santa’s Helpers get $2,000 toy donation

Realtor Chace Whitson and builder Carson Shanks challenge others to do the same

After pulling up in a pickup truck, its bed filled to bursting with toys, two Saanich Peninsula businessmen are challenging their peers to make a similar donation.

On Tuesday afternoon, McDonald Realty’s Chace Whitson and local builder Carson Shanks donated $2,000 in toys to the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers. The organization has been collecting toys this month for children and youth up to age 17, whose families are in need at this time of year.

“Both of us have kids, three each in fact,” said Shanks, “and so we have that understanding of those unique challenges, so we wanted to give as much as we can.”

“It’s a privilege to be able to do something for other families in need,” added Whitson.

They pooled their money and went to Buddies Toys on Beacon Avenue in Sidney and purchased gifts for young kids and older teens.

Carey Salvador, who’s spearheading the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers through the Mary Winspear Centre, said they are very grateful for the donation, as it helps them fill the need. Parents go through the Sidney Lions Food Bank to register for the Santa’s Helpers gifts program. Each family will then receive a book, a stuffie and a larger gift for the younger kids, and a gift card and larger present for older youth.

Salvador said they are always in need of gifts — such as gift cards — for youth between 14 and 17.

Whitson and Shanks say they hope other business people in the community step forward and help the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers by matching — or even exceeding — their donation this week.

Toys and other donations can be dropped off to the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers at the Mary Winspear Centre, or in drop boxes in various locations around the Peninsula.

The Peninsula News Review’s annual Coins for Kids campaign is also raising money for the Santa’s Helpers. Your cash donations can be dropped off at the News Review’s office on Second Street in Sidney, or at specially-marked donation boxes in businesses throughout the Peninsula.

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