23 Dec

Creations for Charity – Toronto

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.12.16 by

As we round out another year and head into the holidays season with dusting of snow and descend into the food comas with family and friends – one of the most important things I get to do during this time of year is Creations for Charity. It’s a great honour to be able to help children in need by donating some awesome LEGO sets that you all helped raise money for. For the second year running we choose the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, which which is the our equivalent of Child Protective Services as well as provide support and services to children and their families.

Again I wouldn’t be able to make this donation happen with my ever generous Present Elves: Eric L and Nick D – who were able to get 69 LEGO sets at deep discount topping off at just over 2,000 CAD!

Creations for Charity: Toronto

This year Children Aid’s Society was very eager to have Creations for Charity involved again, as the feedback from the last year was phenomenal and made a substantial impact to their children. As always, LEGO is the most requested item from parents and is an infrequent donation, so a large LEGO donation is always a huge deal to everyone!

I’m also proud to say that again this year our donation exceeded the physical volume of my tiny car, again! And while I apologize for lack of LEGO-loaded Car pictures, I’m very happy to have to request help in transporting all this LEGO!

As always, none of this is possible without the generous donations and purchases by the AFOL community, You guys are so awesome, I don’t think you realize how big of a difference you really make to so many people around the world.

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21 Dec

C4C – Toronto, Canada

Posted in Uncategorized on 21.12.15 by

As we round the corner to another year, and another holiday season, it is my pleasure to be once again part of Creations for Charity. Not just donations, but a little bit of purchasing, and most importantly distributing the sets that the money everyone helped raised. In years past we have donated to two hospital wings, a women’s shelter, and this year we decided to focus in on children directly and donated to Toronto Children’s Aid Society. The CAS is Toronto’s child protection services, which provide support and other services to parents; and when necessary provide safe and nurturing care for children and youth who are unable to live at home because of family problems.

Thanks to my wonderful present elves: Eric L, Julie V and Nick D, we were able to get 72 LEGO sets at deep discount and worth just under $2,900 CAD:

C4C 2015 - Toronto Dontation

The CAS is always looking for LEGO, as it’s a frequent request by parents and children, but is rarely actually donated. So when we contacted them offering our donation of roughly 50 sets, they were ecstatic. So much so that several representatives were emailing and leaving phone messages to make sure everything was in order!

Due to the exceptionally good year we had a C4C we were able to go out and push a bit more and get an additional 22 sets over my original budget!

Sadly I do not have the “loaded car” photo this year – as my car wasn’t big enough for the entire donation and had to get some help delivering it…. Hopefully this will be a continuing problem that I can’t physically move the entire donation by myself 😀

As always, none of this is possible without the generous donations and purchases by the AFOL community, So thank you from bottom of my heart for help making a difference.

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22 Dec

Creations for Charity – Toronto, Canada

Posted in Uncategorized on 22.12.14 by

Another year and another amazing haul for Creations for Charity – Toronto, Canada EH!

Creations for Charity - Toronto, Canada

To be honest, I was a bit scared this year, last year was epic – thanks to a generous donations by LEGO (this year other cities got LEGO’s donation) I was afraid this year we wouldn’t have as nearly a big haul, with the low Canadian dollar, and the much feared Canadian LEGO shortage I was a bit worried.

But I put out the call to my LUG buddies and they answered in spades! They searched out for deals, pulled in favours, and out right gave me sets – this year’s haul is an extension of all the fantastic work the greater AFOL community does for creations for charity – coming together and helping deserving children in this time of year.
So special shout out to: Eric, Graeme, John, Mike, and Nick for helping round up sets for the donation.

So last year we donated to two local Toronto Hospitals, this year we thought we would spread the love a bit and chose: Red Door Shelter, a family shelter that provides shelter and resources for families facing a variety of difficulties.

As always it’s a fun logistical adventure getting the donations ready. Even just purchasing the sets (~40%) it ate up pretty much all my car space:
Shopping for Creations for Charity!

So it’s always a good sign of a good year for Creations for Charity, that I had to go up and visit Mom for her SUV so that I can transport the donation all in one go:
C4C sleigh locked and Loaded!

Fun facts!
In the end C4C:Toronto had;
100 Sets (yes, 😀 – I had to pull some sets from the safety deposit bedroom at Parent’s Bank of Simon)
$3,843.13 Total retail cost (with tax!)
$1,250.00 C4C Funds used (yup!)
67.5% Savings! (awwww yeah)

So thank ALL the people that donated, and purchased MOCs – without you all none of this is possible. You are the true heroes!

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23 Dec

Creations for Charity – Toronto, Canada

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.12.13 by

This year Creations for Charity went north! Not all the way to Santa, but it felt like it for many kids.  I had donated and purchased things in the past and I was I ecstatic to be asked the coordinate this wonderful charity into my home country of Canada. In Canada LEGO isn’t nearly as cheap as US, it’s not as expensive as other parts of the world, but it’s definitely a high end toy, so I knew that the toys donated would be that much more special here in Canada.

With all the money raised from the sale of creations, and to occasional chats, we raised a phenomenal amount. But even before money started rolling in, I knew I had to start making the most of whatever deals and hook ups I could get – as LEGO isn’t always cheap up here. Calling in some favours Adam M smuggled me a trunk full of LEGO form the states and basically gave it to me for next to nothing. I also had some helpers from my friends at ToroLUG who were all on the lookout for deals! By November I was feeling pretty good with 4-5 banker boxes of sets averaging below 50% retail.

But the like the proverbial Christmas miracle , LEGO generously donated about 20 boxes of LEGO. Getting the LEGO from FedEx was a story all by itself.

In the end the the combined C4C purchased sets and the LEGO donations was a jaw dropping 220 sets!

Creations for Charity in Canada Eh!

But who to donate to? This was all new to me, we have several toy drives in Toronto, some run through the city, massive children’s hospital, fire/police departments, news/radio stations – part of me liked the idea of getting some free press for AFOLs.. but a lot of these drives are pretty well known and supported. For C4C’s first foray into Canada I really wanted to make a big impact and I looked for a under served recipient which really needed help.

After asking around we settled on Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital – it’s the largest children’s rehabilitation hospital in Canada. What’s a rehabilitation hospital you ask? Well it’s a hospital that specializes in dealing kids / youth with disabilities and conditions. Ranging from things that children were born with or those that suffered a traumatic injury.

What really broke my heart was hearing how ‘regular’ families have their world turned upside down after a traumatic injury – kids that used to have full lives now have to deal with new realities. Where they’re not even worried about what toys they might be getting, they’re just trying to get back to some semblance of normality. And what really made me stop and think is what if they have siblings? While the parents are focusing all their energy (and money) helping one, the other(s) are inevitably left out.

So it was an easy choice. It’s an easy way to make their lives slightly better, but giving some wicked LEGO sets to them.

But there’s more.
They had already identified roughly how much they needed to help the families, plus some buffer to hold over for ’emergencies’ … we had a lot left, thanks to buyers like you and good folks at LEGO.

We had SO much left over, we decided to go around the corner, to Sunnybrook Hospital – Canada’s largest Maternity Hospital. What’s that you ask? it’s when there are newborns might have complications, or early births etc, they aren’t necessarily as developed, and this could lead to problems later on in life. And you know what’s a great way to develop fine motor skills and get a leg up in life? Yup. LEGO.

The neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) has a long term program to make sure children get the help they need, including disadvantaged families, and much like every year they are of course looking for help stuffing trees with presents, so we were happy to oblige.

So thank ALL the people that donated, and purchased MOCs – without you all none of this is possible

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