Calgary Foster Mom Creates ‘Awesome’ Free Gift Service for Foster Families – Calgary

Beautiful Christmas surprises are on the way for hundreds of foster children in Calgary thanks to a foster mom who saw a need and stepped up to help.

Debbie Mastel runs a free gift service for her fellow foster parents in her garage and has collected donated toys to give to 1,265 foster children in the Calgary area.

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This is her first Christmas operating the service, which she plans to offer year-round.

“We call it ‘Take Me Home Toys’, (featuring) new and slightly used toys,” Mastel said. “Foster parents go online and they can pick out the perfect toys for the kids.”


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Elisa Boschman arrived at Mastel’s garage on Monday to pick up a doll and other gifts she had ordered for her adopted 7-year-old daughter, who has been with her family for only four months.

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“(Considering) her fun for the dolls, I think she’s going to be so horny. She has nothing of the sort. She came to us with nothing, ”Boschman said. “And then being able to come and find a place like this – it’s just great.”

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Julian Hallett arrived on Monday with a large donation of toys, a collection he and his colleagues had purchased.

“We have about $ 1,500 worth of toys, for all ages,” Hallett said. “We wanted to make sure everyone has something under the tree for Christmas this year.”


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Mastel’s donation campaign is ongoing, with more information available by emailing [email protected]

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“Every time a parent comes to pick up the toys, we know we’re doing the right thing,” Mastel said.

Boschman says she is grateful for the support, especially over Christmas.

“It is such a gift, a present for our family.”

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Michael N. Clark