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'Couldn't have come at a better time': Toy store grateful for firefighters' support
VANCOUVER -- Christmas came early for Granville Island Toy Company on Sunday.
A group of Vancouver firefighters picked up their orders from the toy store's Main Street location, adding the items to the collection they'll be donating to families in need come December.
The firefighters make their donations annually, but they don't usually purchase the items this early in the year. The change of schedule was intended to help local businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The support couldn't have come at a better time," said Granville Island Toy Company owner Joanna Mileos.
Mileos said partnering with the firefighters was "absolutely a no-brainer."
The Main Street store has been taking online orders during the coronavirus pandemic, but the company's main location on Granville Island has been closed, she said.
"For the Vancouver firefighters to bump their timeline up for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau and do it now to kind of help local business a little bit during times like this is huge for us, absolutely," Mileos said.
Vancouver Firefighter Charities plans to spend $65,000 at locally owned stores over the next few weeks, as a way to increase the positive impact of their work.
"That's why we wanted to partner with local Vancouver businesses this year, because we wanted to be sure that local businesses were being supported during this time instead of buying from big box stores," said Kylie Macdonald, of Vancouver Firefighter Charities.
Vancouver firefighters have donated more than $350,000 worth of toys since the program began in 2016.