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Peterborough Sunshine Fund delivers gifts to the needy

  • Peterborough Sunshine fund's annual toy drive was the most successful one in the drive's 10-year history, according to Coordinator Nate Grant.

    Peterborough Sunshine fund's annual toy drive was the most successful one in the drive's 10-year history, according to Coordinator Nate Grant.

  • Nate Grant, the special projects coordinator for the Peterborough Sunshine Fund, packs a minivan full of donated toys to be distributed to local children on Thursday.

    Nate Grant, the special projects coordinator for the Peterborough Sunshine Fund, packs a minivan full of donated toys to be distributed to local children on Thursday.

  • The Peterborough Sunshine Fund, a local non-profit, collected 100s of toys and clothes for local children during their annual Giving Tree toy drive.

    The Peterborough Sunshine Fund, a local non-profit, collected 100s of toys and clothes for local children during their annual Giving Tree toy drive.

  • Peterborough Sunshine fund's annual toy drive was the most successful one in the drive's 10-year history, according to Coordinator Nate Grant.
  • Nate Grant, the special projects coordinator for the Peterborough Sunshine Fund, packs a minivan full of donated toys to be distributed to local children on Thursday.
  • The Peterborough Sunshine Fund, a local non-profit, collected 100s of toys and clothes for local children during their annual Giving Tree toy drive.

PETERBOROUGH — Sometimes it’s not easy being Santa. On Thursday, when Nate Grant loaded up his sleigh — also known as his father’s minivan — and started on his way to deliver more than 400 toys to local children, the back of the car was left ajar, leaving a trail of gifts behind it.

All was not lost, however, as local business owners and drivers rushed to gather up the lost presents collected by the Peterborough Sunshine Fund.

“We got calls from several local businesses letting us know we had to come back to get some presents,” Grant said, laughing.

Grant is the special projects coordinator at the Sunshine Fund, a local nonprofit that is focused on giving aid to Peterborough residents. The charity’s annual toy drive, known as the Giving Tree, started up about 10 years ago.

The drive started on Dec. 1, with residents dropping off presents at the Peterborough Fire Station, Nonie’s Bakery, Harlow’s Pub and Brady’s American Grill. And they gave generously, said Grant.

“It’s been extremely successful since it began,” Grant said in an interview Friday. “And this was a stellar year.”

The gifts, which are all distributed by local social workers that identify children and families in the Peterborough area in need this Christmas, ranged from toys, sports equipment, gift certificates, educational toys and clothes. The gift are for a range of ages, from infants to 14-year-olds. And all of the kids benefited are local, said Grant.

“People tend to think Peterborough’s a ritzy town, and we don’t have a lot of kids in need,” said Grant. “But we do.”

The first year the Sunshine Fund ran the Giving Tree, they gathered about 80 presents. That number has grown every year the project has run, until this year, the best ever run, gathered more than 400.

“The reason it’s so successful is because of the generosity of the community,” said Grant. “I want to thank them and the restaurants and the Fire Department that allow me to collect gifts there. It’s only possible because they allow it.”

Grant, along with his father, Jim Grant, run the Giving Tree drive, with support from Sunshine Fund Directors Roland Patten, Jay Laroche, Jen Hall, Richard Dunning, Jennifer Dubois and Fire Chief Joseph Lennox III.

Those who wish to donate to the Sunshine Fund can send donations to P.O. Box 421 in Peterborough.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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