© Ashley Thompson
Mike Paddon, of Cheverie, and Bill Lindsay, of Kempt Shore, test toys donated to the Matthew 25 Windsor District Food Bank. The duo has been sorting through donations for a couple of months to repair and polish secondhand toys in time for the food bank’s Christmas rush.
Twice a week, Bill Lindsay and Mike Paddon drive in from the Kempt Shore area to tinker with toys at the Matthew 25 Windsor District Food Bank.
Food bank volunteer Brenda Landry says the men have come to be known as Santa’s little helpers at Matthew 25.
“I’m telling ya, without these guys I don’t know what I’d do. They’re always happy,” she said.
Lindsay and Paddon started sifting through piles of donated toys a couple of months ago to clear a path to the food bank’s fire exit.
“We’re trying to sort them out and it’s a good time of year to do that because very shortly the ladies will be handing them out to kids who want them and if they can see them, they’ll want them,” Lindsay said with a smile.
Some of the toys require a little TLC — some cleaning, rewiring or batteries — before they are handed out.
“Most of them will work as long as you repair them a bit,” Lindsay said.
Others are tossed. But Lindsay and Paddon take comfort in knowing the restored toys have the potential to bring children a great amount of joy.
“It’s especially good to know that a toy that somebody was going to get rid of, or would eventually be thrown away, is kind of getting recycled to some kid who maybe doesn’t have a bunch of toys,” Lindsay said.
Both men, both retirees, say they are happy to dedicate their time to such fun, and rewarding, volunteer work.
“The bottom line is it’s a shame that we have to do it, you know that the economy is that way, and we have to resort to these measures, (but) the fact that you’re recycling is a good thing,” Paddon said.
“It’s a win-win.”