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(Posted 7:30 a.m., Nov. 30)
Sir Wilfrid Laurier S.S. kicks off Toy Mountain campaign

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Jenna Branhan is one of the students organizing this year's Toy Mountain campaign at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School this year. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Students and staff at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School in Orléans are once again taking on the roles of Santa's little helpers in their effort to collect toys and food items for financially challenged families in the region.

The east end high school kicked off its 2013 Toy Mountain campaign on Thursday in the hope of building on the tremendous success they had last year when Place d'Orleans passed along thousands of toys donated by shoppers.

Place didn't take part in the campaign last year per se. Instead, they accepted donations at their customer service desk and drove them up to Sir Wil every couple of days.

"They just showed up with a truck one day and asked if we would take them," said Sir Wil campaign organizer Laurie Watson. "We said 'Sure, no problem.' "

This year's campaign is being headed by school council co-chairs Jenna Brahan, 16, and Cameron Dunfee, 15.

The two Grade 11 students are extremely proud to be able to carry on a tradition that was begun at Sir Wil 15 years ago.

"It's great to be part of something that helps kids that otherwise might not get anything and the school and the community can be part of too," says Branhan.

Last year Dunfee took part in the school's Christmas hamper campaign which is run in unison with the Toy Mountain campaign. Each class is responsible to put at least one Christmas hamper together along with the office staff and the teachers. The baskets are then delivered to clients of the Caldwell Family Centre. Dunfee went on several of the deliveries.

"The families were really, really grateful," says Dunfee. "It gives you a good feeling to be able to do something special for people and see how much it means to them."

Toys and food items can be dropped off at the school between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. up until Dec. 18. The toys will then be taken to the main Toy Mountain warehouse using a truck provided by the Paul Rushforth Real Estate team, while the food items will be assembled into the food hampers and delivered the following day. Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School is located at 1515 Tenth Line Road.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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