Despite his age, Jonathan (Bear) Yeung gave $60,000 in toys and donations in 2021 for B.C. Children’s Hospital. He hopes to repeat that this year.
An 11-year-old West Vancouver boy who raised $60,000 in donations and gifts for B.C. Children’s Hospital in 2020 hopes to play Santa for the young, sick patients again this year.
“Kids are very sick every single day. So this year, our goal is to collect as many gifts as possible and have them delivered by Christmas so that they can be given during the holidays and also throughout the year,” said Grade 6 student Jonathan “Bear” Yeung.
“Toys can help kids cope with boredom while they recover or when they are bravely waiting for their surgeries or treatments. Tablets help them stay connected with their family and friends and also allow them to watch movies, read ebooks and do their school work.”
Last year during the pandemic, Yeung, with the help of University of Victoria student Landon Brown, was inspired to help sick children at the hospital whose playrooms were closed and who could have limited visitors. So they reached out to their friends and family, as well as to big Canadian companies for help, B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation said in a statement on its website.
As a result, the pair collected $14,000 in cash donations, 159 tablets and iPads, and more than 1,000 new toys, worth a combined $60,000, said the foundation’s director of community, Rita Thodos. That was a big help “at a time when patients faced increasing isolation due to pandemic protocols,” she explained.
This year, people can drop off donations to Bear’s second annual Christmas Toy and Tablet Drive at any of the two dozen Dilawri Group car dealerships in Metro Vancouver, or at the region’s four Allwest Insurance agencies between Nov. 15 and 29.
“Landon and I learned that it really takes a community to help a community. We truly believe that if we work together, we can all help brighten the lives of many awesome kids who are fighting hard to get better,” Bear said.
The hospital cannot accept used toys because of infection control and allergens, and says the most in-demand donations include infant rattles and books, arts and crafts items, small Lego sets, and gift cards for music and video games.
Postmedia first wrote about Bear at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020, when he was nined, and raised $6,400 to buy healthy snacks and drinks for workers at Lions Gate Hospital.