News

3 GTA Kids Who Have Battled Cancer, Collect More Than 1000 Toys to Pay it Forward This Holiday Season

WHEN: Sunday December 18, 2021, 9am – 11am
WHERE: 300 Wilson Avenue, Toronto (parking lot behind Chai Lifeline Canada building)

Ethan, Marky, Sisi and Mordechai Rothman, Executive Director, Chai Lifeline Canada available for interviews in advance and on December 18 on location

Chai Lifeline Canada’s annual holiday toy drive is well underway for the 16th year. As an organization that provides unique support and services to children and families impacted by illness, Chai Lifeline Canada has a special call to action for the holidays – give a toy, give joy.

On Sunday December 18th Chai Lifeline Canada will welcome a special delivery of more than 1000 toys from the Chai Five Toy Drive – a collective effort of 3 children and their families. Ethan (10), Marky (7), and Sisi (8) met through Chai Lifeline Canada as they navigated through their pediatric cancer journeys. While each child has a unique story, one of the special things that unites them, and their families is the support of Chai Lifeline Canada. These incredible children have experienced first-hand how uplifting it is to receive new toys when they were sick and in hospital and are now looking to pay it forward by collecting toys for other sick children.  

Their stories are featured in a recent Chai Lifeline Canada docuseries, Present for Life. Watch/share it here.

“Toys make such a difference to kids that are sick. Toys bring such joy when kids are facing big battles. These kind gestures got Ethan through treatment, and we want to help others,” says Cindi Shoot, Ethan’s Mom.

“We have loved watching these kids blossom as they ‘reclaim’ their place as regular kids doing all the regular kid things. They’re out there riding bikes and horses, enjoying beach vacations with their family and summer camp with friends. Launching this toy drive is another big step forward for these warriors,” says Mordechai Rothman, Executive Director.

Chai Lifeline Canada’s annual toy drive is for the more than 500 children and families currently in Chai Lifeline Canada’s care who are facing every possible setback. “The toys donated are used all year long as Case Managers visit families in hospital or isolating at home. Each toy will put a smile on a child’s face, encouraging their imagination and coping skills, decreasing their stress, and helping them hope beyond their current circumstances. Chai Lifeline Canada is honoured to have incredible support from schools, organizations, and families across the city, all running toy drives of their own,” Rothman says.

About Chai Lifeline Canada

The Annual Holiday Toy Drive is just one of the dozens of free programs offered by Chai Lifeline Canada. For the past 16 years, the organization has helped support seriously ill children and their families with programs, workshops, and counseling of all kinds. Programs include counseling, summer camps, tutoring for children missing extended periods of school, Big Brother-Big Sister initiatives, family retreats, sibling programs, peer, and professional support.