$20K in toys donated to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous in memory of Edmonton woman

An Edmonton family is working to fulfill a mother’s last wish that every child has a present to open on Christmas morning.

Korinda Kostiw died on Sept. 18, after a five-year battle with breast cancer. In lieu of flowers, the 34-year-old asked for toys and donations to be made to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.

The Kostiw family on vacation in an undated photo
The Kostiw family on vacation in an undated photo. Courtesy: Dustin Kostiw

“Instead of worrying about eating or getting out of bed, she was worried about kids getting presents for Christmas,” her husband, Dustin said Tuesday.

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Read more: 630 CHED Santas Anonymous hosting drive-thru toy drive after COVID-19 cancels events

Korinda frequently volunteered with Santas and considered it her favourite charity.

“She was incredibly caring. She loved kids.”

What started as a few presents dropped off at the family’s home — quickly filled the driveway.

“I got my trailer ready and after a few weeks the trailer was completely full,” Dustin said. “We thought there was just going to be a few toys. I was not expecting $20,000 worth of toys.”

The Kostiw family with the toy donations
The Kostiw family with the toy donations. Courtesy: Dustin Kostiw

Korinda’s six-year-old son also got involved in the giving. He picked out toys with donated gifts cards and worked hard sorting the hundreds of toys.

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“At first I thought those were all the toys the kids were going to get and then I said ‘Wait, there’s more?’” Austin said. “I tried to organize it for a while and then I just started throwing them in [the trailer].”

Read more: Edmonton steps up to help Christmas Bureau reach 2019 fundraising goal after shortfall concerns

The toys arrived at the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit last week, ready to be wrapped for kids around Edmonton.

“The donations started coming in from other provinces, just all over the place. They all said they want to make a donation in memory of Korinda,” Janine Foote with Santas said.

“It’s just such an honour to be included in someone’s legacy like this and to see the outpouring of support.”

“Korinda would have been so excited and so happy. I know she would be crying if she was here to see all of this support. We have so many people that love and care for us,” Dustin said. “We will always be a part of Santas Anonymous.”

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Click to play video '630 CHED Santas Anonymous hosts drive-thru toy drive in Edmonton' 1:44 630 CHED Santas Anonymous hosts drive-thru toy drive in Edmonton
630 CHED Santas Anonymous hosts drive-thru toy drive in Edmonton

You can donate to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous on the organization’s website..

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