Creations for Charity in Canada Eh!
(not pictured - 5x Swarm Swarmers, 2x Duplo Mega towers - cause I forgot them in storage)
It was my esteemed pleasure to be asked to be the Canadian Distributor for Creations for Charity for the Canadian expansion.
To be honest I was a bit hesitant as LEGO is more expensive in Canada over US, so the donations raised won't buy as many sets as in the states. But I'm so glad I did...
There are tons of people to be thankful for, huge shoutout to Adam M and Jeff R. Adam actually smuggled a trunk full of LEGO from the States and practically gave it to me. Jeff R was my go to guy for local LEGO sales and would pick things up.
By early Nov I thought I was a big C4C hotshot, as I already had four overflowing banker boxes of various sets all at 50% off or less.
Then a Christmas miracle - Kevin and the CEE team at LEGO donated some sets.
So in addition to my measly 35 sets, LEGO donated ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVES SETS.
that's 1-8-5. Or Nine boxes. Or 150lbs.
Getting those sets is a story all by itself....
This accounted for roughly 80% of the entire donation by value.
LEGO / Kevin - from the bottom of my heart thank you.
But who to donate to? This was all new to me, we have several toy drives in Toronto, some run through the city, massive children's hospital, fire/police departments, news/radio stations - part of me liked the idea of getting some free press for AFOLs.. but a lot of these drives are pretty well known and supported. For C4C's first foray into Canada I really wanted to make a big impact and I looked for a under served recipient which really needed help.
After asking around we settled on Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital - it's the largest children's rehabilitation hospital in Canada. What's a rehabilitation hospital you ask? Well it's a hospital that specializes in dealing kids / youth with disabilities and conditions. Ranging from things that children were born with or those that suffered a traumatic injury.
What really broke my heart was hearing how 'regular' families have their world turned upside down after a traumatic injury - kids that used to have full lives now have to deal with new realities. Where they're not even worried about what toys they might be getting, they're just trying to get back to some semblance of normality. And what really made me stop and think is what if they have siblings? While the parents are focusing all their energy (and money) helping one, the other(s) are inevitably left out.
So it was an easy choice. It's an easy way to make their lives slightly better, but giving some wicked LEGO sets to them.
But there's more.
They had already identified roughly how much they needed to help the families, plus some buffer to hold over for 'emergencies' ... we had a lot left, thanks to buyers like you and good folks at LEGO.
We had SO much left over, we decided to go around the corner, to Sunnybrook Hospital - Canada's largest Maternity Hospital. What's that you ask? it's when there are newborns might have complications, or early births etc, they aren't necessarily as developed, and this could lead to problems later on in life. And you know what's a great way to develop fine motor skills and get a leg up in life? Yup. LEGO.
The neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) has a long term program to make sure children get the help they need, including disadvantaged families, and much like every year they are of course looking for help stuffing trees with presents, so we were happy to oblige.
And a huge thanks to Sean, my little elf that helped with the delivery of the sets. It's a big job, and Sean is a big man :)
And thank ALL the people that donated, and purchased MOCs - without you all none of this is possible