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Simultaneous toy drives by Coquitlam, Port Moody first responders to benefit struggling Tri-City families

RCMP and firefighters are hosting virtual and in-person holiday fundraisers for SHARE Family and Community Services to create hampers.
Coquitlam RCMP and Port Moody Fire Rescue are raising funds and toys, both virtually and in-person, in hopes of helping SHARE Family and Community Services create 2021 holiday hampers. | Kyle Balzer, Tri-City News.

Two first-responder departments in the Tri-Cities are hosting separate toy drives, but all are going to the same cause.

Coquitlam RCMP and Port Moody Fire Rescue are appealing to the public's generosity this holiday season by considering making financial and physical donations to SHARE Family and Community Services.

The non-profit organization is looking to create food and toy hampers for hundreds of struggling families in hopes of lifting their spirit during a busy time of year.

Spokesperson Cpl. Paige Armstrong says the RCMP's initiative — known as 911 We Care — will be held virtually for a second straight year due to the pandemic, meaning donations and gifts won't be accepted at the detachment.

"2021 was not the easiest year, so will be grateful for all funds raised and toys gifted to SHARE. We hope people will be able to add an extra gift to the list this year," she said in a statement to the Tri-City News.

COVID-19 continues to affect many community initiatives and fundraising events. However, now more than ever we cannot forget about the ones who would benefit from our generosity the most.

In 2020, more than 360 toys and gifts were collected for SHARE. 

The campaign has been going on since 2009 and Armstrong adds Mounties are confident the region will pull through despite another challenging year.

"The Tri-Cities communities and the entire Coquitlam Detachment have a big heart and they understand there are many families and young people who might not be as fortunate as them this festive season. That is why we do the toy drive year after year and moved it online when the pandemic began."

Meanwhile, Port Moody Fire Rescue (PMFR) is giving residents the opportunity to drop off physical donations, should the public feel led to purchase gifts themselves.

Residents are invited to deliver a new, unwrapped toy to the Inlet Centre Fire Hall (150 Newport Dr.) between Monday (Nov. 29) and Dec. 16.

With Holiday Cheer on the Pier returning to Rocky Point Park this year, PMFR says its team will also be at the site to collect donations.

"Whether it's toys, food, or cash, please consider giving what you can – everything will go to SHARE Family and Community Services for local families in need."

Port Moody Police (PMPD) will be attending the rain-or-shine outdoor event collecting non-perishable food donations.

More information is available on SHARE's website.