Jen Temple (left), Annie Christiaens, and Nick Moschonas pose for a picture in front of the toys they collected for the Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s Christmas Hamper Program. Their goal was to fill a cube van (right) with toys. (Photos submitted: Jen Temple)

Jen Temple (left), Annie Christiaens, and Nick Moschonas pose for a picture in front of the toys they collected for the Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s Christmas Hamper Program. Their goal was to fill a cube van (right) with toys. (Photos submitted: Jen Temple)

Toy drive fills five-ton cube van

Hillcrest Shopping Centre donation drive supported Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program

A recent toy drive for the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program garnered more than 1,000 toys and more than $3,000 in cash and gift cards.

The drive was held at Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre and was hosted by Annie Christiaens, owner of the Heart in Cloverdale, Nick Moschonas, from Eclipse Creations Contracting, and Jen Temple, the manager of Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre. Temple is also a member of the hamper program’s organizing committee.

“When we were asked to host the toy drive, it was a pipe dream to fill the cube van,” Christiaens wrote on her business’s Facebook page. “Just a cute catchy phrase, ‘help us fill the cube van.’ Never did we think you would actually fill a five-ton cube van.⁣⁣”

SEE ALSO: ​​‘Huge increase in need’ for the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program

Over two days, the Hillcrest toy drive collected 1,040 toys, and took in north of $3,000 in both gift cards and cash. The gift cards and cash will support about 65 teenagers. The drive also raised food, diapers and other household items that were given to the Cloverdale Community Kitchen. (The Kitchen runs the hamper program.)

Christiaens described the drive as “a whirlwind of a few days.”

She wrote that she was overwhelmed by all the support people showed for her initiative.

“Thank you will never be enough to those who came with donations, to those who volunteered, to those who shared the information about the toy drive to help it be a success, and to those who cheered us on and quietly supported us behind the scenes.”

“Cloverdale did it again,” remarked Temple. “The generosity and support brought tears to my eyes many times over the weekend events. We are so blessed.”

Temple said Christiaens and Moschonas “knocked it out of the park” in terms of putting on the toy drive. She also said the drive wouldn’t have been as successful without the support of Alana Farquhar, the manager of Hillcrest’s Save-On-Foods.

Temple said one “amazing story” in a sea of amazing stories over the weekend moved her to tears.

She said a father, mother, and their 10-year-old son wandered up to see what Temple, Christiaens, and Moschonas were up to. The boy had a tackle box full of coins that he was going to take into Save-On. But the kid stopped and decided to donate some of his coins instead.

Temple then asked the youngster if he knew what cause he was supporting.

“He said ‘no’ and I told him we provide Christmas hampers for families that are struggling at Christmas time to make sure that they have a special Christmas.”

Temple said the kid smiled, donated a few coins, and walked away. A few minutes later, he reappeared and dumped his entire tackle box full of change into their money-donation box.

“His dad said he wanted to help more,” explained Temple. “I was so touched by this young man’s generosity.”

She said the kid’s act of kindness filled her with love and brought tears to her eyes.

“We are so blessed to live in Cloverdale,” added Temple. “What an amazing outpouring of love and generosity.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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