For the third year in a row now, I've had the pleasure of being a part of the Zone's Annual Toy Drive and I'm pleased to say it has been another successful event. I'm continually blown away by just how generous Victorians can be this time of year in spite of all the world's troubles. No donation was considered too big or too small because every little bit helps.
This was the pile about 20 minutes after I arrived. I can't even see the items I brought because it built up so fast!
From the beginning this toy drive has been hosted by local radio station 91.3 The Zone and benefits the St. Vincent De Paul Social Concern Office, an organization dedicated to assisting the less fortunate. I enjoy taking part in this toy drive and I'll continue to do so whenever I can. I've had a few Christmases in my early youth that wouldn't have happened without the donations of strangers, so it feels good to be able to give back whatever little bit I can. As usual Megan and I bought a bunch of small, cute stuffed animals that are guaranteed to make some kids smile.
This year I even had a little help from my managers at the book store I work at and we put together a nice bundle of children's books for donation on behalf of the store. The books were gratefully accepted and many of the Zone's staff were delighted to see a book about space since the phrase "Spacebook!" often comes up in conversations about anything to do with outer space. Believe me, it happens a lot.
I always enjoy it when I get to meet and mingle with the staff at the Zone and it's great that they will always remember who their listeners and friends are. I felt like Norm from the old show Cheers when I got a round of "Will!" as I arrived. Too bad I didn't have a witty line like Norm would have.
After dropping off the toys and books, I stuck around to mingle and watch as more donations came in then I helped to load the truck at the end. I even got to participate in a morning show game live on the air called Dylan vs. The World. Normally, listeners would call in for this game, but I think because the hosts were on location and not in the studio they decided to ask someone who was present and they picked me. In the game listeners go up against morning announcer Dylan answering general trivia questions read by morning show co-announcer Jason. The listener is asked to choose one of two categories and is asked the first question. If a player gets an answer wrong, the other player has a chance to steal a point if they know the answer. The questions go back and forth until one player gets two correct answers.
The category I chose was Charities, since we were at a charity event. After a strike each for both Dylan and myself, I got one point, he got one point, and suddenly I scored the tie breaker with my correct answer about Doctors Without Borders. I won! I won't say what my prize was as I intend to share it with someone as a gift, but it's still a victory for me. I almost never win anything! It's a Christmas radio miracle!
Enough about me. To use a real cliche phrase here, the real winners today are the children. By the end of the Toy Drive the pile was huge! There are going to be a lot of very happy kids this holiday!
This angle shows how all the bins, and the sleigh, supporting the pile were stuffed to capacity!
Thanks again to my friends at the Zone for letting me hang out and thanks to everyone who took the time to make a donation and a special thanks to Mother Nature for the dry weather. It may have been a little chilly, but it was nice to see the sun!
I look forward to next year's Toy Drive.
The Wandering Oak