Donations light up Christmas

There would be no Christmas for Justin Pobler and his family without the annual Toys for Tots to Teens toy drive.

Canadian Tire staff members (left to right) Mitch MacMillan

Canadian Tire staff members (left to right) Mitch MacMillan

There would be no Christmas for Justin Pobler and his family without the annual Toys for Tots to Teens toy drive.

The 40-year-old single father of two 15-year-old daughters and a four-year-old son   has relied on the generous donations of gifts and toys for the last few years to ensure a merry Christmas for his family, and he now gives back by volunteering for the drive himself.

The gift of giving has helped him provide the same benefit to other families in need after he was asked to help out by a friend in the Salvation Army.

“It feels amazing. The first couple of years that I used it I was so thankful and wished that I could do something for them just to show my appreciation,” Pobler said.

Pobler is grateful knowing first hand about financial struggles.

“It’s huge. Being a single dad and having a low income, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do for my kids if it weren’t for the toy drive,” he said. “It makes your heart swell for sure. Christmas is all about family and friends and whatnot, but to see your kids eyes light up on Christmas morning, or even before when you’re putting a few gifts under the tree — it’s priceless.”

Pobler now helps with sorting and organizing toys into age appropriate piles and placing them into hampers which are brought to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre to give out to the families in need. His connections with the North Pole also gets Santa Claus to show up for parents picking up the hampers.

“There is quite a bit involved,” Pobler said “When my friend said she needed some help I jumped all over the chance. For the past couple of years it has felt really good to give back to the Salvation Army.”

Having done so much for him, Pobler hopes others in need will look to the toy drive as well.

“For anybody out there that’s reading this, don’t be shy to come down and sign up for a hamper, you won’t regret it. The people who donate their gifts, it’s wonderful and it’s good high-quality stuff,” Pobler said. “Don’t be shy we’ll be glad to have them, the more the merrier.”

Changing the lives of families during the holiday season is what keeps Joey Cyr, supervisor for family services at the Salvation Army in Penticton, coming back each year.

“We love it. It’s a big part of what we do and we really want to put a smile on the kids faces. When it comes to the kids that’s our one priority, whether it be nutritious food or something as simple as a Christmas present,” Cyr said.

Those looking to donate new, unwrapped toys can do so at Canadian Tire up until Nov. 24, when a drop-off event will take place in the parking lot of Canadian Tire from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Santa Claus will be making an appearance from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and returns between 3 and 5 p.m. for photos. Tim Hortons will be bringing along some coffee and muffins in the morning and Marketplace IGA will be hosting a hot dog barbecue in the afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Doug MacMillan, owner of Canadian Tire, will be on hand for his 10th year with the drive.

“I think it’s a great community initiative to help out needy families and it falls right into line with the Jumpstart campaign that Canadian Tire runs nationally for families in need,” MacMillan said.

The drive isn’t only about toys, but practical items for teenagers and older kids. Canadian Tire is matching every dollar spent on toys put in the bin located at the front exit. As well, members of the Penticton Vees will also be on hand for those taking advantage of the drive-thru service from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

 

 

Just Posted

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Okanagan Connector to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation recently announced $1 million in funding for the upgrades

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, celebrates his win with his dog Milo after finding out he was elected as city councillor in Saturday night’s by-election. (Submitted)
Penticton’s newly elected city councillor explains how he can be both editor and politician

James Miller picked up a third of the votes in Saturday’s by-election

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Tony Costa/ Facebook
UPDATE: Out-of-control fire burning above Peachland

The blaze sparked on Sunday and is believed to be lightning caused

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read