Sparky's Toy Drive Kicks-Off in Windsor-Essex


Sparky's Toy Drive is officialy underway.

The annual fundraiser by the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association to make sure that struggling families can put gifts under the tree, is fueled by toy and cash donations each year.

Coordinator Sean Costello says they fundraise a year in advance, so they're in good shape to make sure more than 3,000 kids have a merry Christmas this year, but he's anticipating 2021 to be a challenge due to COVID-19.

"Our fundraising is going to take a major hit for obvious reasons this year," he says. "People who are in the fortunate enough position to be able to donate this year, we really need those people to come forward and help us out. Our fundraising will take a major hit this year."

Costello says Sparky's Toy Drive helped more than 3,000 kids in 2019.

"They're what we call the working poor, most of them," says Costello. "They're able to get by but not able to afford perks like gifts for kids at Christmas."

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has given permission to allow gift distribution during the pandemic.