Even with tighter purse strings this holiday season, Pentictonites are doing their best to ensure no kid goes without presents under their tree.
The Toys for Tots to Teens drive kicked off at Penticton Secondary School early Thursday morning, with the usual cheer from students welcoming in crowds.
The annual event, presented by Penticton Provides with the help of local businesses and high school kids, looks for donations for kids of all ages.
Hoping to collect 1000 toys and raise $20,000, which will be used to fill community organization requests for gifts and necessities for kids, the leadership team had their hands full getting packages ready.
Grade 12 leadership student Karoleena Goodjohn, who just joined the event a month ago, said getting everything ready has been chaotic, but its really paid off.
"It's really magical to see everybody from our community," she added, noting city councillors and elementary school kids had already come through. "Helping other people in our community, it's just really rewarding and awesome around the holidays."
As of around 10 a.m., team had collected 9000 toys and was getting close to their monetary donation goal, hoping to surpass both.
"We find that it's tougher for people to donate, because everything is so expensive and people already are trying to look out for themselves," Goodjohn said.
"But it's still incredible that we are almost at our goal, even in a year like this when it's so difficult."
For those who couldn't make breakfast, donations can still be dropped off that entire day until 3 p.m. at Pen High, Canadian Tire, Castanet or Superstore, or one of the Castanet team members can pick up your stocking for you. Call 250-460-0121 to schedule Jasmine, Elin or Andrea to come by.
Post photos of your team with your stocking tagging #PentictonToyDrive, or email a photo to [email protected] for posting on Castanet social media.