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.
“Instead of worrying about eating or getting out of bed, she was worried about kids getting presents for Christmas,” her husband, Dustin said Tuesday.
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.”
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.
“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].”
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.”
You can donate to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous on the organization’s website..
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