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Thursday December 18th, 2014

Posted at 10:00am

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A last minute toy drive campaign from a Maidstone based trucking firm, Xpress Group, has netted nearly $7,500 worth of toys for Essex and surrounding area families.

“It has been very exciting for us,” says Jeff Libby, Vice President at Xpress Group. “We’ve had a long standing relationship with the Essex Food Bank, and this year we wanted to see if we could do a little more.”

The campaign, dubbed Making Miles Matter, managed to exceed expectations, despite both a late start, and a short run.   Some area toy drives kick off as early as October, says Libby, but Xpress didn’t begin putting this together until late in November. “It was a last minute thing,” Libby explains, “We were really only hoping to raise $1500 or so.”

The Making Miles Matter campaign used donations from the company’s customers and suppliers along with a mileage based matching system. “We really were overwhelmed with the generosity of our network. They came through more than we could have ever expected.”

The toys are to be donated to the Santa’s Cause for Kids campaign started in 2002 by OPP Constable Joe Meloche along with the Essex Fire and Essex Police.

The county based toy drive services families throughout Essex County through partnerships with The Salvation Army in Essex, St. Vincent De Paul in McGregor and Harrow and the Zeta Kappa sorority (Santa Sac Ladies) of the Beta Sigma Phi.

“This year we are helping out approximately 165 families between these charities,” says Meloche. He also points out that all the toys will stay in the area.  “We’re continuing our commitment to our area, and we’re extremely excited to make this a Holiday Tradition!”

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