PHOTOS: Toy drive for kids in hospital more important in year of COVID-19, says Keian’s parents

Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive run Nov. 13 to Dec. 13. Shop the wish list by visiting the website on the poster or scan the QR code on your cellphone app. Gifts can be sent directly to the Blundell family. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)Before passing away in January 2014 Keian Blundell delivered toys to children at the hospital who couldn’t come home for Christmas. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times.)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)In previous years the Blundell family has organized fundraising events to support Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive. (Blundell family/Special to Langley Advance Times)

When six-year-old Keian was in hospital receiving treatment, the feeling of isolation was all too familiar for the Blundell family, which is why in the year of COVID-19, they say it is all the more important to spread holiday cheer by continuing Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive.

In memory of their son Keian, parents Ryan and Chantal, organize an annual toy drive to benefit BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

READ MORE: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

“We’re not unfamiliar with isolation,” said Keian’s dad, Ryan Blundell.

“Keian went through a bone marrow transplant, so for weeks we lived in an isolation bubble where we had to be absolutely cautious of everything we did… because we had a child who had their immune system knocked out… so in the world of COVID… we have that familiarity.”

Keian was diagnosed with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2012 and was admitted to BC Children’s Hospital for treatment.

The young Langley boy was discharged from hospital that year just in time to be at home on Christmas Day to open gifts with his family, instead he return to the hospital with a wagon full of gifts for all the kids who couldn’t return home for the holiday.

Keian was able to return with a wagon full of Christmas cheer in 2013, but passed away in January 2014.

Since then his family has run a holiday toy drive in his honour.

“Things have changed quite drastically this year, we’re not able to have the same outdoor events we do with the RCMP, however they’re still completely supportive of our cause,” said Chantal Blundell, Keian’s mom.

Due to COVID-19 the Blundell family has limited the number of donation drop-off locations this year, but the public can bring unwrapped toys, gift cards or cash to the following Surrey RCMP detachments: 14355 57 Ave., 7235 137 St., 10395 148 St., or 10720 King George Blvd.

And in Langley at Keian’s preschool, Kids in the Grove at West Langley Elementary (9403 212 St.).

“Last year, with the help of the generous community, we were able to raise more than $9400 in cash donations and 1800 toys,” Cst. Mark Peterse, with the Surrey community response unit.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and hope this year, despite the challenges we have faced, we can continue to bring holiday cheer to these children and their families who are already going through so much,” he added.

The family reminds those wishing to donate in-person to follow all public health guidelines.

But for those who wish to donate from a distance the family has included a new element to this year’s fundraiser.

“We know that there is going to be a lot of people who are uncomfortable with doing that (donating in-person) this year, which is why we opted to set up the Amazon Wishlist, where basically when people shop there, they can choose their items and they can click to actually send it to us… so it’ll arrive at our home and there is no contact needed,” Chantal explained.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley-based Christmas toy drive and fundraiser prevails despite COVID-19

Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive runs Nov. 13 to Dec. 11 this year.

The family anticipates to deliver all donations to the hospital about a week after the end of the toy drive.

“It’s likely going to look like an outside drop-off,” Chantal said.

For more information and to donate visit Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/271823200828122, or access the Amazon Wishlist at amzn.to/3dEKFjU.

Alternatively, shop the wishlist by scanning the QR code located in the information poster.

“It’s about helping these kids have a great Christmas,” Chantal said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasCoronavirusfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donations to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation this month are being matched – up to $75,000 – by an anonymous donor. (Langley Advance Times files)
Anonymous giver doubles donations to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

This month, donations will be matched up to $75,000

Surrey Little Theatre is located on 184th Street at Fraser Highway. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

A ‘really exciting’ development for the volunteer-run theatre companies

Architectural renderings show the proposed housing development on 66th Avenue in Langley Township. (Compass Cohousing/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley cohousing plans closer to reality

The 40-unit project would be the second cohousing development in Langley

Jonas Van Huizen is seen playing for the Langley Christian Lightning during the January 2018 Lightning Classic junior boys basketball tournament at LCS (Langley Advance Times file)
Top-ranked volleyball player returns home to Langley to play for UFV

Isolated in a Kamloops dorm because of the pandemic, Jonas Van Huizen decided to transfer

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Charter challenge quashed in case of U.S. man accused of human smuggling at his inn

Robert Boule’s criminal trial set to begin August 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Most Read