Knights team up with Hope Centre for Toy Drive

Knights toy driveWith the holiday season fast approaching, The Niagara College Knights basketball programs are teaming up with The Hope Centre in Welland to host the second annual Niagara College Knights Toy Drive. The toy drive is part of the Knights Chivalry program that sees Niagara College student-athletes partner with community organizations in support of local causes.

The men’s and women’s volleyball programs joined forces in support of the Terry Fox run back in September raising $840. Additionally, members of the Knights Student-Athlete Leadership Team have been visiting local elementary schools to provide physical activity programming as a part of The Recess Project.

“We held our first ever holiday toy drive last year and it was a great success,” said Niagara College women’s basketball team captain Miranda Ross. The fifth-year St. Catharines native continued, “this year we are a little more organized and are really looking forward to growing and supporting more members of the local community.”

The 2014 Niagara Knights Toy Drive collected over 200 new toys in support of The Hope Centre. The Hope Centre is a local, Welland-based non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the local community by attending to the basic needs of its vulnerable citizens. The organization has been operating for over 41 years.

“It’s exciting to be partnering with the Niagara Knights basketball programs in support of this amazing cause,” said Christina Lajeunesse, fund developer and community coordinator for The Hope Centre. “Working collectively with like-minded agencies helps to provide a full continuum of support to those who need it. Without the support of our community partners, we could not offer the wide variety of services we have designed to assist those facing poverty and crisis.”

Toy bins will be located at the Niagara College Welland campus athletic centre beginning Monday, November 23. The toy drive will conclude at the Knights’ December 4 home court match-up against the Mohawk Mountaineers. Anyone attending the event that brings a new toy donation will receive free admission, free popcorn, and a ballot for a chance to win a Niagara Knights prize pack.

“As members of a varsity program here at Niagara we get so many opportunities to learn, travel, and have unique experiences,” continued Ross. “Events like this toy drive serve as a reminder that not everyone in our local community is fortunate enough to have some of these experiences. By collecting toys hopefully we can play a small part in giving a local child a memorable day.”

The Hope Centre collects new toy donations on an annual basis. Families in need register, and once all toys have been collected, eligible parties are invited to select toys for their young family members.

“As an agency, we strongly believe that no family or child should go without food or toys during the Holiday season.  To ensure this doesn’t happen we are partnering with local community organizations to support this cause. It is one of the many ways we as a community can give back,” added Lajeunesse.

Toys can be dropped off at the reception desk of the Niagara College Welland campus athletic centre (300 Woodlawn Rd.) from November 23 to December 4. For more information please contact Mike Puillandre, communications & events coordinator at 905-735-2211 ex: 7681 or mpuillandre@niagaracollege.ca

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