York Regional Police, the Newmarket Soccer Club and community partners gathered to help gather food and toys for families in need this holiday season Nov. 18.
The Newmarket Soccer Club hosted the local launch of York Regional Poilice’s Holiday Heroes campaign at its facility. The annual charity efforts raise money, food and toys to be distributed through the Salvation Army and Victim Services of York Region.
Deputy chief Alvaro Almeida said the campaign has continued to help many, with more than 3,000 families aided last year.
“That couldn’t have happened without the support from the community,” he said. “It’s really about getting together for the collective."
The campaign has run for 27 years, with 100 per cent of donations going back to those in need.
The official launch event at the Newmarket Soccer Club has run for five years, with the club gathering donations and also having a friendly soccer match with York Regional Police members.
Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said he is proud the town comes together to help others in the holiday season.
“Every child deserves to have an amazing holiday season,” he said. “It takes a community to make sure that happens.”
Difficult financial times mean the need for the Newmarket Food Pantry, Salvation Army, and other social service organizations is greater, he added.
“Let’s hope things get better,” he said. “But until it does, we have to keep stepping up. This, today, is a shining example of what that looks like in our community.”
Newmarket Soccer Club president Petra Fera said the launch event has a special place in her heart.
“We look forward to participating in this event for years to come,” she said. “We hope our event this year is even more successful than previous years. Our goal is to fulfill the holiday wishes of many children and families.”
Members of the public can participate by dropping off new, unwrapped toys, new children’s clothing, gift cards, or monetary donations at any York Regional Police facility until Dec. 15.
You can also donate online at yrp.ca/hhdonate.