When the Greater Victoria Lions learned the toy room on the pediatric ward at the Victoria General Hospital was closed due to COVID-19 protocols, The Smile for A Child campaign was born.
Health safety procedures mean no sharing of toys, so Lions members went about finding a way to keep the ward stocked with items young patients could keep.
Members struck a partnership with Toys R Us who set up a specific area at the front of the store in Mayfair Shopping Centre, stocked with many items on the wish list.
As the toys go out – to young people on the pediatric ward as well as pediatric surgical daycare, outpatient treatments and oncology – Lions club members hope to keep the supply replenished, right up to Christmas.
Volunteers dropped off the first toy delivery to Victoria General Hospital on March 30 and the Smile for a Child campaign runs to May 31.
New toys can be donated at Toys R Us or The Esquimalt Police Department Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For those who prefer to let volunteers do the shopping, monetary donations can be made out to South Island Lions Committee and mailed to 4-4570 W. Saanich Rd., Victoria, B.C., V8Z 3G4.
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