Some great Christmas surprises are on the way for hundreds of foster kids in Calgary thanks to a foster mom who saw a need and stepped up to help.
Debbie Mastel is operating a free gift service for her fellow foster families out of her garage and she has collected donated toys to offer to the 1,265 foster children in the Calgary area.
This is her first Christmas operating the service, which she plans to offer year-round.
“We call it ‘Take Me Home Toys,’ (featuring) gently used and new toys,” Mastel said. “The foster parents go online and they can pick out the perfect toys for the kids.”
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Elisa Boschman arrived at Mastel’s garage Monday to pick up a doll and other presents she’d ordered for her 7-year-old foster daughter, who’s been part of her family for just four months.
“(Given) her enjoyment of dolls, I think she’s just going to be so excited. She has nothing like this. She came to us with nothing,” Boschman said. “And then being able to come to and find a place like this — it’s just awesome.”
Julian Hallett arrived with a large donation of toys Monday, a collection he and his co-workers had purchased.
“We have about $1,500 worth of toys, for all different ages,” Hallett said. “We wanted to make sure that everyone has something under the tree for Christmas this year.”
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Mastel’s donation campaign is ongoing, with more information available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
“Every time a parent comes to pick up the toys, we know we are doing the right thing,” Mastel said.
Boschman says she’s grateful for the support, especially at Christmas time.
“It is such a gift, a gift to our family.”
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