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Teens start toy drive

FUN AND GAMES: Michael Tamburini and Sabrina Bruno are collecting toys to donate to Sick Kids hospital. (Courtesy Sabrina Bruno)

It began with a desire to do something special for Christmas this year, a drive of some sort for the benefit of a worthy recipient.

From there, Sabrina Bruno and Michael Tamburini, good friends and Father Bressani CHS schoolmates, organized and launched their Sick Kids Christmas Toy Drive.

The two began with an ambitious goal, says Bruno, Vaughan’s Youth City Councillor. She first approached the city for official help, then her church and school system. But getting aid turned out to be difficult and the drive’s goal was scaled back, she said.

“So basically I was thinking: ‘Maybe if I can get 50 toys, just to bring something down’,” she said Monday. “I actually already have 50 toys between myself, my parents and one other friend, and I didn’t even collect anything from the schools or … anything yet.

“It’s already 50, almost 60 now, (and) I’m expecting to get a whole bunch more,” she added. “We kind of got off to a late start but so far we’ve actually got a really good turn out.”

The drive is on until Dec. 15 and the collected toys will be delivered to Sick Kids Hospital by Dec. 19.

“I know Sick Kids is a really good cause,” Bruno said. “I’ve had friends and family who have been patients there and I know it helps so many people and it’s known worldwide.”

Because of limited resources, Bruno turned to the Internet to drum up support and created, which offers details about the drive and a way for people who have limited time to purchase a toy themselves to donate cash.

“Every weekend, we’ve been taking whatever we collected throughout the week, we’ve been buying (toys) and then sending the donors the receipts,” she said. “And then at the end, we’re submitting a letter with all of the toys indicating all of the donors and what they donated.”

As for the future? Bruno said she’s hoping the Sick Kids Christmas Toy Drive returns next year, bigger and better than the already successful 2008 edition.

Vaughan Today
In print: December 5, 2008, page 2
Online: December 4, 2008 [link]