Uncle Vinny’s Toy Drive Changes the Lives of Over 1,000 Families in Vancouver

by British Columbia Division
Categories: Blog, Community

In a heartfelt tradition spanning three years, the Maan family dedicates themselves to collecting toys across the Lower Mainland to brighten the Christmas season for those in need. Inspired by the memory of their late Uncle Vinny, the family channels grief into a joyous cause.

“Witnessing the positive influence on families and children during the holidays is deeply gratifying and healing. Vinny would cherish seeing smiles on children’s faces. Honoring him in this way feels like the perfect means to perpetuate his legacy,” explains Pinder Saran, Vinny’s sister.

With these feelings, the Maan family began organizing the Uncle Vinny Toy Drive, which reached its third year in 2023. The Salvation Army Boundless Vancouver, a Community & Family Services Ministry that offers a variety of programs and services year-round, was happy to accept a donation of over 1,350 collected toys that were given out to families in need through the Christmas Toy Shop.

The original goal in 2021 was to collect up to 200 toys. Amazingly, at the end of the fundraising period, Uncle Vinny’s Toy Drive received over 1,650 toys worth approximately $43,000. With the 2022 collections, the Maan family reached a total of almost 3,000 toys to donate to The Salvation Army, and when combined with the number of donations received in 2023 over three years the family has already given almost 4,500 toys.

According to Lieutenant Tamara Randlesome, corps officer of Boundless Vancouver, a donation of this size has positive consequences for society.

“I’m feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. This is going to make such a powerful impact on our community to see this generosity from Pinder and her incredible family. The importance of this action shows that if we work together as a community, we can truly care for everyone in our community and when we work together miracles happen,” says the Lieutenant.

Each year donations have helped serve more than 1,000 families through the Toy Store and other programs offered by The Salvation Army to those struggling with the rising cost of living and who would otherwise have difficulty purchasing gifts for their children at Christmas.

Watch the video below to witness heartwarming moments and the impact of love in action.


To learn more about The Salvation Army Boundless Vancouver visit SalvationArmyVancouver.com