By Mark Hoult Community Press
Campbellford — Santa Claus and an eight-year-old Campbellford boy switched roles when they met this week at the Campbellford Community Resource Centre.
Santa was on the receiving end of the gift-giving process when Joel Murray presented 12 toys and games to the annual Christmas Wish Toy and Food Drive, organized by Community Living Campbellford-Brighton and the Campbellford-Seymour Fire Department.
Joel will turn nine in January, but celebrated his birthday a month early with a skating party with family and friends at the Campbellford arena so he could give 12 of his 14 gifts to less fortunate children.
“I wanted to give the kids who don’t have anything some gifts so they will have something for Christmas,” Joel said, adding he will probably do the same thing again next year.
“It makes me feel glad,” he said after helping Santa load up his sled in the lobby of the resource centre. “And I think the kids will feel happy when they have something on Christmas morning.”
Joel’s mother Carla Murray said she is “very proud” of her son for volunteering to give up most of his birthday gifts.
“Joel is always very thoughtful and thinking of other people. It is a lesson for all my kids to be generous this time of year.”
The Campbellford/Seymour Fire Department and Community Living Campbellford-Brighton joined forces to spearhead the 2010 campaign to collect toys and food for the Christmas season, in partnership with the Campbellford Community Resource Centre, Giant Tiger , Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, No Frills, Stedman’s, Sharpe’s Food Market, Liquidation World, Campbellford Office Supplies, Ontario Power Generation and Campbellford District High School.
The collection and distribution of toys will take place Dec. 13-15 but, until then, residents are welcome to bring toys and non-perishable food items to the resource centre on Bridge Street. For more information, call Bev Haley at 653-1821, ext. 208.