PHOTOS: Toy drive for kids in hospital more important in year of COVID-19, says Keian’s parents

Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)

When six-year-old Keian was in hospital receiving treatment, the feeling of isolation was all too familiar for the Blundell family, which is why in the year of COVID-19, they say it is all the more important to spread holiday cheer by continuing Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive.

In memory of their son Keian, parents Ryan and Chantal, organize an annual toy drive to benefit BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

READ MORE: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

“We’re not unfamiliar with isolation,” said Keian’s dad, Ryan Blundell.

“Keian went through a bone marrow transplant, so for weeks we lived in an isolation bubble where we had to be absolutely cautious of everything we did… because we had a child who had their immune system knocked out… so in the world of COVID… we have that familiarity.”

Keian was diagnosed with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2012 and was admitted to BC Children’s Hospital for treatment.

The young Langley boy was discharged from hospital that year just in time to be at home on Christmas Day to open gifts with his family, instead he return to the hospital with a wagon full of gifts for all the kids who couldn’t return home for the holiday.

Keian was able to return with a wagon full of Christmas cheer in 2013, but passed away in January 2014.

Since then his family has run a holiday toy drive in his honour.

“Things have changed quite drastically this year, we’re not able to have the same outdoor events we do with the RCMP, however they’re still completely supportive of our cause,” said Chantal Blundell, Keian’s mom.

Due to COVID-19 the Blundell family has limited the number of donation drop-off locations this year, but the public can bring unwrapped toys, gift cards or cash to the following Surrey RCMP detachments: 14355 57 Ave., 7235 137 St., 10395 148 St., or 10720 King George Blvd.

And in Langley at Keian’s preschool, Kids in the Grove at West Langley Elementary (9403 212 St.).

“Last year, with the help of the generous community, we were able to raise more than $9400 in cash donations and 1800 toys,” Cst. Mark Peterse, with the Surrey community response unit.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and hope this year, despite the challenges we have faced, we can continue to bring holiday cheer to these children and their families who are already going through so much,” he added.

The family reminds those wishing to donate in-person to follow all public health guidelines.

But for those who wish to donate from a distance the family has included a new element to this year’s fundraiser.

“We know that there is going to be a lot of people who are uncomfortable with doing that (donating in-person) this year, which is why we opted to set up the Amazon Wishlist, where basically when people shop there, they can choose their items and they can click to actually send it to us… so it’ll arrive at our home and there is no contact needed,” Chantal explained.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley-based Christmas toy drive and fundraiser prevails despite COVID-19

Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive runs Nov. 13 to Dec. 11 this year.

The family anticipates to deliver all donations to the hospital about a week after the end of the toy drive.

“It’s likely going to look like an outside drop-off,” Chantal said.

For more information and to donate visit Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/271823200828122, or access the Amazon Wishlist at amzn.to/3dEKFjU.

Alternatively, shop the wishlist by scanning the QR code located in the information poster.

“It’s about helping these kids have a great Christmas,” Chantal said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Society, with the “first of its kind” Adult Residential Substance Use and Supportive Recovery Facility Homelessness Count. It was done around the time of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (March 3 to 4, 2020) to complement the count. (Photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey homeless, recovery counts show need for long-term solutions

This was the first time recovery, substance use facilities were included in the count

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read