There’s a lot of giving going on this time of year. I’m sure you’re being asked everywhere you turn for a donation to make someone’s Christmas brighter. From hampers to food drives, you most definitely are contributing to your community’s needs. Here’s something that I think needs a little attention, though, and if it gets your support too, I know there will be some extra twinkly eyes on Christmas morning.

Once again, Guildford Town Centre and incredibly generous sponsors Alpine Credits and King of Floors are building Toy Mountain – literally a mountain of unwrapped, new toys at the base (and upward) of a Christmas tree which will then be collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to the perfect recipients.

toy mountain, guildford town centre, the salvation army, king of floors, alpine credit, let me out creative

What I love about this is that the focus is on toys. Yes, toys! The families receiving these items are doing their best to meet the needs of their growing families and securing food, shelter and clothing for their loved ones. But play is a child’s work and vital to their growth. It contributes to their cognitive and motor development, their speech and language development, their social skills and…puts a smile on their faces!

When I was a speech-language pathologist my therapy style was as play-based as possible. It’s how normal language development occurs. And I always had a bag of toys with me! It’s amazing what kids can learn when given these perfect tools.

That’s why I am thrilled that Guildford Town Centre, the Salvation Army and all these incredible sponsors are doing their part in making sure kids have toys to play with. Take a look at some of these mind-blowing donations (yes, even cars full of toys by a local dealership)!

When you’re out and about this weekend getting your shopping done, and if you can pick up a toy/book/puzzle/game, then we’d love to see you drop it off at the tree. Make it a family event; I know you’re talking to your kids a lot about giving at this time of year. This is the perfect opportunity for them to be completely involved. After all, who’s a better shopper for toys than a kid? Give them a budget and ask them to pick something that another boy or girl like them would appreciate on Christmas morning. The moment they place that gift under the tree at Guildford Town Centre will be even more meaningful to them.

This is all happening next week and I can’t wait to be there to take it all in! Here are the details:

THURSDAY DEC 10, 2015 5:30 am – 9:00 pm

FRIDAY DEC 11, 2015 5:30 am – 7:00 pm

GUILDFORD TOWN CENTRE 10355 152 St. Surrey, BC (Centre Court)

I’ll be there on Thursday morning right after I drop the kiddos off to school until just before lunch. If you’re going to be there during that time, tweet me and let me know! Oh, did I mention Triple O’s is serving up breakfast sandwiches, hashbrowns and coffee to anyone who donates until 10 am? (I promise, my timing is just a coincidence – ha!)

And hey, take a selfie beside a heaping pile of toys and tweet me @taslimjaffer and the mall @shopGTC so we can see you in action! Use #GTCtoymountain with any of your social media posts. If I’m not there, I don’t want to miss the joy 🙂

If you can’t make it to the mall during those days/times, there are other drop offs which you will find on CTV’s article here. There will be personalities from CTV news, 103.5 QMFM, 94.5 Virgin Radio, and TSN 1040 Vancouver broadcasting live from there as well, so if you have a favourite, please look for them and say hi!

I’m excited to be working with GTC to spread the word about Toy Mountain and hope that this year’s campaign reaches new heights!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative