The University of Alberta- Augustana Campus “Vikes for Tykes Toy Drive” is a student led initiative spearheaded by the Augustana campus athletes. The goal of this drive is to give back to the community while creating a sense of unity within the Augustana campus and build on the university's stellar reputation in the Camrose community.
Augustana athletes, coaches, and trainers are asked to donate toys to the drive. As well, collection boxes are placed at the home basketball, volleyball and hockey games for fans to participate. This year, by donating $10 toy you will receive free admission to the Vikings game! Collection boxes will be placed at the Vikings home games on November 29/30th. The schedule for this weekend is as follows:
Womens Volleyball - November 29 @ 6
Mens Volleyball - November 29 @ 8
Mens Hockey - November 29 @ 7:30
Womens Basketball - November 30 @ 6
Mens Basketball - November 30 @ 8
Additionally in hopes of involving all the community, collection boxes are placed throughout the school for students, staff and faculty to also contribute to the drive. Collection boxes will be available from November 25- December 6. In our first year, our goal was to collect 200 toys, but the effort far exceeded this goal. In total, Vikes for Tikes has collected over 450 toys in 2016, 400 toys in 2017, and over 500 toys in 2018 with an estimated value of approximately $15,000 worth of toys. This year, we have a goal of collecting 750 toys for the 2019 Christmas season. We hope to reach this goal as we have now joined partnership with the Kodiaks Teddy Bear Toss that takes place on December 6th!
The toys collected during the Vikes for Tykes Toy Drive are distributed to many children through three outstanding organizations. Locally, toys collected are donated to the Kinette Club of Camrose Silent Santa program. Donated toys are also taken to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Augustana athletes run a “Hockey Day in Canada” celebration at the hospital, where patients of the Children’s Hospital are able to select a few toys of their choosing, as well as take part in numerous games and activities led by the athletes.
The incredible success of the initial Vikes for Tykes drive has led to the University of Alberta - Augustana student athletes to continue this program in years to come, with the end goal to establish this as an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference wide initiative.
We ask for toys with a $10 value, left packaged and unwrapped. Organizations have expressed high demand for certain types of toy donations. Below is a list of items that would be very appreciated this Christmas season!
OTHER ITEMS NEEDED:
“Having previously played hockey in the WHL and professionally after that, I have taken part and thoroughly enjoyed many “teddy bear toss” games and the subsequent children’s hospital visits where we distributed the teddy bears to patients. Having retired from hockey, I found myself missing this opportunity of community service. Vikes for Tykes provides this opportunity for the athletes and student body of the U of A Augustana campus.”
- Brett Ponich, Vikes for Tykes Co-Founder, Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey
“To me, this organization is a great example of how giving a little can go a long way. By each athlete/student/faculty member/fan donating just one toy, we can put a smile on hundreds of children’s faces in the Camrose area and those going through a difficult time at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. It provides the athletes and students with an avenue to give back to the community in a way that benefits the children receiving toys, as well as the bridges the gap between Augustana students and the Camrose community”
- Nicole Brockman, Vikes for Tykes Co-Founder, former member of Augustana Vikings Women’s Volleyball
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