Sun Youth – The Toy Man becomes Secret Santa for 220 children!
Toy Man becomes Secret Santa – It has now become an annual tradition for Sun Youth and for the Starlight Foundation. For the third year in a row, anonymous donor Toy Man treated 220 children to a shopping spree at the Boulevard Décarie Toys “R” Us. The event unfolded on Sunday, December 16th, at the toy store which was closed to the public but fully accessible to the kids from Sun Youth and Starlight thanks to the renewed support of the store’s manager and some of its staff who volunteered their time to take part in this unique event.
The Toy Man explains: “Everybody deserves to have a perfect Holiday! Why not make Christmas special for everyone?” A few days away from his birthday he says: “The greatest gift I could give myself was to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, it is priceless!” The Toy Man wishes to be the children’s Secret Santa for many years to come, as long as he’s able to continue.
Once again this year, there was electricity in the air. Kids were obviously excited to be able to select their gifts themselves, from the hottest new toy to the latest tech or video game, but some special people were there to greet them: various cosplayers such as superheroes and Star Wars characters (including Starlight’s mascot Capitaine Starlight). There were also hairdressers who volunteered their skills (and scissors) to offer free haircuts to the children but also many of their parents who can’t afford a haircut for the Holidays. Throughout the evening the four hairdressers present performed 35-40 haircuts each so most people attending the event came out looking their best. There were also volunteers doing face paint on the kids, balloon animals and snacks for everybody. It was also a fun time for everyone involved, not only for the kids but also for the parents and Sun Youth Hornets coaches in attendance.
The event started smaller in 2016 with 75 children receiving gifts but has been growing every year since. This year’s event was very emotional for many as it was dedicated to two of Starlight kids who sadly passed away: Thomas Ferreira and Tre Ferdinand. Sun Youth would like to thank the Toy Man for once again becoming these children’s Secret Santa and the numerous volunteers who answered the call once again.
Feature image: While Star Wars character Kylo Ren was on site, the event was definitely not on the dark side, with smiles everywhere on children and adult faces alike. Photo: Joseph Munro.