Leah Smith plans to spend her weekend collecting new or gently used toys, so everyone can experience the magic of the holidays.
The 14-year-old Oak Bay girl did a similar drive in Grade 6 that netted 10 toys, a disappointment to her still.
Last year she embarked on a sock drive, and considered another, but with the busy-ness of entering high school as a Grade 9 student, decided to do something a little different.
This year, toys collected will go to the Salvation Army Stan Hagen Centre for Families.
Smith is doing it outside of school, and going solo.
“I’m getting a couple friends to help spread the word,” she said.
She’ll camp out Dec. 12 and 13 from noon to 4 p.m. in front of Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue to collect toys for the Toy Shop.
For Christmas, the Stan Hagen Centre For Families holds a pop-up toy shop. Parents who can’t afford presents sign up and are able choose three to five gifts for each child. More than 800 parents are already registered this year.
“Christmas is my favourite thing,” Smith said.
“I want to give kids that kind of Christmas too. So they get to have that kind of a Christmas morning.”