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Toy Mountain grows as Ottawa firefighters drop off thousands of toys

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As the need this year continues to grow, so does the mountain of toys at Toy Mountain headquarters.

On Wednesday morning, the Ottawa Professional Firefighters' Association dropped off thousands of toys collected from the Help Santa Toy Parade and Santa's Parade of Lights in Orléans.

"There was some concern this year that we might be a little bit down, but the city of Ottawa, as always, pulls it together and we were actually able to match last year's contributions," said chair of the Help Santa Toy Parade, Cameron Taylor.

CTV and MOVE 100 support the Toy Mountain campaign, with volunteers on hand helping collect and sort.

It was quite the sight as an assembly line of toys made its way from the wagon to headquarters, with a few familiar faces sorting bags of presents.

"A number of our players' wives and staff are helping with toys and we are collecting toys for Toy Mountain in our last game and our next two games," said Jacqueline Belsito, Senators Community Foundation president.

The Ottawa Professional Firefighters' Association dropped off thousands of toys for Toy Mountain on Wed. Dec. 6, 2023 (Katelyn Wilson/ CTV News).

Volunteers like Wally Istchenko are helping bring the magic of Christmas to more than 27,000 children, putting presents under the tree for those in need.

"You really see the smile, the joy and the appreciation, which makes it real easy to be there and put in the time," said Istchenko.

'Tis the season for giving and with the cost of living increasing, it means toys and financial donations are needed now more than ever.

"We are in need of toys specifically for babies and for the older age demographic, which is 11- and 12-year-olds; that would be hugely beneficial for us," said captain with the Salvation Army, Laura Van Schaick.

There is still plenty of time to donate, visit CTVNewsOttawa.ca or toymountain.ca for all the drop-off locations up until Dec. 23.

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