Emergency personnel in London and St. Thomas helping families in need this holiday season
LONDON, ONT. -- With Christmas approaching, and many families in need, the first Saturday in December was a day of giving across Southwestern Ontario. In St. Thomas, the Downtown Development Board (DDB) was joined by Santa Claus, who bore resemblance to the city's mayor, walked Talbot street in a gift giving mood.
"We've been surprising shoppers up and down Talbot street and paying their bills," says Dave Thomson, vice chair of the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board. "It's Christmas and we want to give back."
The board paid for things like tattoos, oil changes, and grocery bills. Michael Marchand's group was the recipient of a free lunch.
"It was an outstanding surprise," said Marchand. "I think it shows the real sprit of the DDB in St. Thomas and how well they're growing the city."
In downtown London, first responders were holding their annual Lights and Sirens Toy Drive. At the London Fire Hall police, fire and EMS were collecting toys for Life*Spin. The London Bandits hockey team came by after participating in the Arygle Santa Claus parade.
"Its important for kids to realize that more to hockey than playing the game, and giving back to the community is big part this time of year," says Jack Boyce, head coach of the Novice Bandits. "When there is people in need, that when hockey families step up and do what they do. Everyone should have a toy at christmas time."
And they weren't the only emergency personnel collecting goods. Back in St. Thomas, the fire department was partnering with the local Foodland for their 2nd annual Fill the Firetruck event.
"They've got bags pre-ready, so when people buy them and give them to us, they will end up at Christmas care," says Bill Todd, chief fire prevention officer
The Foodland was doing their part to help by doubling any cash donations made inside at the register.
"It's a great partnership, we're both community members," says David Stewardson, franchise owner of St. Thomas Foodland.
"There is definitely a need here in St. Thomas for the food bank."