Despite thefts, Salvation Army soldiers on with toy drive

The Salvation Army is still on track for its Christmas giving season despite a recent theft of over $2-million worth of toys.

Major John Murray, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army, said that his latest dealings with the Toronto Police have left him hopeful that the toys and donations, found last week in Brampton warehouse and subsequently taken into evidence, will be returned before Christmas.

Even if the toys are not returned on time, however, the organization remains on schedule with their Christmas toy drive.

“We’re almost a third of the way there for our Toy Mountain drive, which puts us on par with last year,” Murray says. “I believe we will hit our target.”

The two arrests made in connection to the toy thefts do not make the entire situation any less disturbing, he said: “They appear to be strategic, intentional and planned over a period of time”.

Despite the high-profile case, which saw the arrest of two men, one a former executive director, and the impounding of 26 skids of toys in late November, the Salvation Army has received an outpouring of support.

“We’ve been receiving very generous support from corporations like Hasbro and Spin Master,” Murray says.

Still, the majority of support this year is coming from the donations of everyday people.

“We’ve received a generous outpouring of donations from regular people,” Murray says. “It really makes me hopeful.”

The Toy Mountain Drive runs until Dec. 23