The Generations Foundation 2021 Holiday Food and Toy Drive began on Tuesday and will run until the end of the year.
The idea is to provide thousands of youngsters in the Montreal area with a new toy who might otherwise go without.
The pair behind the Generations Foundation remarked that their work still makes them happy after 22 years.
Watching the youngsters open their presents, executive director and co-founder Adrian Bercovici observed, “You can see the excitement, the happiness.”
As part of the annual event, the Generations Foundation is also accepting donations of non-perishable food items to help families in need.
The organization is dedicated to helping make sure children are properly nourished. It provides breakfast and lunch to dozens of elementary and high schools across Montreal.
St. Gabriel’s Elementary in Pointe-Saint-Charles was the first school to benefit from the program.
“This is like our our baby, our first born,” said Natalie Bercovici, co-founder of the Generations Foundation. “We’ve been doing it for years, 21 years now, and we’re happy to do it.“
“The amazing thing is some of the little kids that we started with at the beginning, you look at them now when you meet them, and they’re in university or graduated or the odd one had a baby already,” Adrian said.
The health crisis ongoing COVID-19 forced the Generations Foundation to put most of its fundraising events on hold but things are starting to look up.
“We lost many of our main events. We lost about $200,000 in fundraising but this year. But we finally got our golf tournament back, Adrian said.
Montreal toymaker Mega Bloks, a long-time supporter of the Holiday Food and Toy Drive, is donating hundreds of toys for the Generations Foundation to distribute.
Vice-president Bisma Ansari believes it is critical for the company to maintain its cooperation, even if this means that the annual holiday party will be canceled due to the pandemic.
“We’re glad to be a part of it because it’s such an important cause,” she added. “There are so many kids in Montreal.”
Mega Bloks is in charge of dispersing the gifts, and the joy it brings to the kids makes it all worthwhile.
“Wonder and magic,” Ansari said. “It’s for that reason that we do what we do.”