Yellowknife’s Salvation Army opens its annual toy store

Yellowknife’s Salvation Army on Friday opened its toy store for people who don’t otherwise have the means to acquire gifts for their children this holiday season.

Donated toys are gathered and set up like a shop so caregivers can choose which toys their children might like. The charity said hundreds of toys were donated this year, allowing some families to take home more than one each.

Students from École St Patrick High School arrived early on Friday to set up tables and display the toys.


“It’s give and receive,” said Jason Brinson, executive director of the Salvation Army in Yellowknife.

“We’re able to give out these toys because of the generosity of others, but we also receive great joy in knowing that children will have a smile on their face on Christmas.

“People can come in and shop and feel like they have a choice in what their child gets for their Christmas gift.”

Families sign up in advance, which helps determine the age groups the Salvation Army caters toward.

Extending its theme of handing choice to people, the Salvation Army’s food hamper program this year teamed up with the Yellowknife Co-op to distribute food vouchers instead of a predetermined meal.


Doing so means families can take the voucher and decide what they would like for their Christmas dinner.

“It’s a multicultural city here and people like to have different varieties of foods,” said Brinson. “If you’re sitting around a table and turkey and ham isn’t your thing, then you could get whatever you want for dinner.”

The organization’s annual kettle campaign is not doing as well as hoped. With one week remaining, the drive had collected approximately $29,000 of its $45,000 goal.

Money from that program stays in Yellowknife and helps to pay for food vouchers and other programs, Brinson said.