Stepping Stone toy drive saved by community's generosity
Around this time of year, the board room at the Stepping Stone begins to fill with toys for children.
It's all part of the not-for-profit organization's annual Christmas party for families they work with throughout the year.
"It's really nice that everyone can get together and have a great time, with the food, and Santa and presents," said outreach worker Nicole Lydiard.
But the presents were in question this year after a long-time donor wasn't able to provide them for the party next month.
"It was definitely a stress because it's so important and so looked forward and the company that had been doing was so phenomenal, but things are tough all around," said Lydiard.
"Right now, we have about 25 youth signed up but there will be a lot more by the end of the month," said Stepping Stone executive director Alex MacDonnell.
With the clock ticking, staff reached out for help from the community.
"I was thinking that a couple of people were going to respond, one or two toys would come in per child," said MacDonnell.
The organization put out one post on social media and were overwhelmed by the reaction.
"Within five minutes, I had an individual say "placed a toy order … it will be at your door between two to five days,'" MacDonnell said.
It would only be the beginning of the generosity to come. Toys started coming in from around Halifax and beyond.
The group is now confident every child will have a gift to open at the party.
"Things are hard and there's poverty and people are struggling in so many ways so to have this kind of thing happen is awesome," said Lydiard.
MacDonnell says it's been amazing that everybody has come together.
"Whether you believe in the work we do or not, we were able to put our differences aside for this one day and come together for the children," MacDonnell said.
That generosity has ensured that a holiday tradition here will continue for this year.