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Drop off new toys and other donations at CHEK's Christmas Drive Thru

Contributions can be dropped off from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at locations in Victoria, the West Shore and Nanaimo.
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CHEK News on-air personalities pose with Salvation Army of Victoria members to highlight the CHEK Christmas Drive Thru, set for Dec. 1, 2023. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Friday is the day for dropping off toys and other donations at CHEK’s annual Christmas Drive Thru event, now in its 30th year.

New unwrapped toys, non-perishable food and cash donations for the Salvation Army and the local families they support will be accepted at three Vancouver Island locations from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.

They include CHEK’s studios at 780 Kings Rd. in Victoria (drop off on Kings Road), Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre at 1767 Island Hwy. in Colwood (drop off in front of the public library), and Steve Marshall Ford at 3851 Shenton Rd. in Nanaimo.

More than 70 volunteers will be on hand on Friday at the three locations to help with the collection.

Apart from on-air personalities and reporters on the front lines, CHEK staff — even the station’s general manager — will be busy answering the phones behind the scenes in a live telethon during the same time period.

Donate by calling in at 1-877-255-4445, or go to CHEK’s online “kettle” at chekmedia.link/Kettle.

With 1,500 households registered with the Salvation Army to receive Christmas hampers, organizers are hoping to collect 2,000 toys for children and up to $95,000 in donations during their drive.

CHEK this year extended the toy collection campaign to encompass the month of November, with partner businesses from Victoria to Courtenay accepting donations through the month.

“We extended the campaign so that people who may not be able to come in person could drop off their donations at a location convenient for them,” said Lindsay Nielsen, creative services manager at CHEK.

She said the response to the extended hours and locations has been very positive so far.

While she says cash donations are always welcome, as they can be used to purchase food or turned into grocery gift certificates, people still like to do their own shopping for toys.

“People tell us they really like shopping for toys for kids,” said Nielsen. “They get real satisfaction from that.”

She said that the coolest toys they have seen by far have been purchased by children.

“You can’t beat kids shopping for kids,” she said. “We keep asking: ‘Where did you find that?’ ”

For more information, go to cheknews.ca/chek-drive-thru-2023.

parrais@timescolonist.com