Saturday, June 3, 2023

Still time to donate to Rori’s toy drive


There is still some time to donate items to a cause launched by an 11-year-old Wallaceburg girl.

For the third consecutive year, Rori Bennett has held a toy drive for the Christmas Room program at the Ronald McDonald House in London. This year she is also gathering welcome bag items for families who have unexpected stays due to an emergency.

“The welcome bags can include deodorant for men and women, toothbrushes, mouthwash, toothpaste, calendars, notebooks, hand sanitizers and stuff like that. Pocket size things that can be used in the time of urgent care,” Rori said.

Local businesses like McDonald’s, McNaughton Family Dental and Shoppers Drug Mart have made significant donations toward the welcome bags already.

Donations for toys has been a bit slow so far this year.

However, Devolder Farms and Life Touch are using the toy drive as their Christmas charity.

The toy drive and fundraiser ends on Nov 19.

Rori said she is looking for new and unwrapped toys for children ages newborn to 18.

“So baby toys, to hair and makeup, books and stuff like that but it has to be unwrapped only because of health reasons and same reason for the new, we have to have new toys for health reasons,” she said.

Rori said she has progressively gathered more and more toys each year she has organized the toy drive, gathering approximately 150 toys two years ago and about 210 last year.

Rori said the program helps lift the spirits of the children in the hospital.

“I have learned that it doesn’t matter how much I collect that they enjoy everything that we give them because they appreciate everyone who supports them,” Rori said. “That powers me to keep going.”

The following businesses are serving as drop-off locations for the toys this year:

– Rental office at 780 Wallace St. in Wallaceburg, unit 104

– Debbie McGonigle School of Dance, located on Dufferin Ave. in Wallaceburg

– Debbie McGonigle School of Dance in Blenheim, located on Chatham St.

– RBC in Wallaceburg, located on James St.

– St. James Anglican Church in Wallaceburg, located on James St.

– Holy Redeemer Parish office in Wallaceburg, located on Murray St. in Wallaceburg behind Holy Family School

– Lifetouch Photography, located in Chatham on Heritage Road

– Haute Pink Dancewear Boutique, located in the downtown Chatham Center

For more information contact Rori’s mother Kim McAuley at 519-627-6083 or by e-mail at

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