May’s Toybank is a new charity in Chestermere set to launch April 6 for families who need extra help.
The people behind the scenes setting up the new charity are Marion Schmaltz and Quentin Schmaltz.
Marion Schmaltz, one of the founders and executive director of May’s Toybank, said that the charity started because her experience as a single mom which she described as not easy.
“There’s never enough money to pay the bills and buy clothes for kids, and all the stuff you have to do, and to me, this was kind of a way to alleviate that with families in need,” said Marion.
According to her, there are no programs like this in the area that she is aware of.
She said that it would be easier for the people who are struggling if they don’t have to go into Calgary for used items but could stay in Chestermere instead.
“From what I understand people who need kids clothes or that kind of thing, I think they end up being referred to Calgary, whereas with it being in the community it’s a little easier for these families too,” Schmaltz said.
She also said that if someone is struggling to begin with it’s hard for someone to put the extra gas money to access those programs in Calgary.
May’s Toybank will accept clothing for children of all ages, toys of all ages, books, puzzles, baby items, baby toys, cribs and high chairs, and other similar items.
“To me, it’s probably better to recycle this stuff anyways, than to just throw it away,” said Marion.
Currently, May’s Toybank is working out of the Chestermere Regional Recreation Centre. They set up there once a week.
May’s Toybank is trying to collect $50,000 worth of toys and clothes for children of all ages with this year’s campaign.
They are committing to keep 100 per cent of the donations here in Chestermere to help families in need.
Donations will be collected May’s Toybank. To donate, people are asked to contact the charity to arrange a time for someone to come collect the donation.
“We do pick up all the donations,” said Marion.
They ask that people do not go to the Chestermere Rec Centre to drop off donations and that they only contact the charity for pick up.
Despite the fact that the charity officially starts on April 6, May’s Toybank has already started accepting donations.
Marion said that they are working with community services to try and narrow down what the requirements to qualify for the charity is, but mostly it is a self-referral process.
The people who generally will be receiving aid from the charity will be low-income families according to Marion.
According to Marion, the community support has been overwhelming.
“We have had lots of donations from Chestermere residents,” she said.
Marion said that she and her husband had been talking about starting this charity for around a year, but finally got going on this mid-January.
May’s Toybank is a registered charity in Alberta, and they are working on their Canada Revenue Agency charity status.
To meet with the Charity, people will have to make appointments through phone or through the May’s Toybank Facebook page to arrange a pick up for donations, or for any distributions.
For more information, or to make an appointment, contact Marion Schmaltz at 403-208-7370.