The Maine Masonic Toy Drive in Auburn has launched its holiday season with a heartwarming initiative. Laurie Babineau, after taking a selfie with Santa at the Auburn Masonic Hall, was inspired to purchase toys for the drive, including a fireman set, a baby doll, and a fuzzy toy. These toys will be donated to children in need in the Lewiston/Auburn area. Babineau, who works in local schools, emphasized the importance of providing toys for children, especially those facing hardships.
This year marks the 4th Annual Maine Masonic Toy Drive, where generous donors like Babineau contribute to a growing collection of toys, hats, mittens, and toiletries. These items are then distributed by local charities and the Lewiston and Auburn police departments to families in need. Martez Proctor, the worshipful master of the local Masonic lodge, highlighted the Masons’ commitment to helping humanity as one large family.
The event also featured Santa Claus, who took a break from his usual appearance at LL Bean to participate in the toy drive. Children, including 4-year-old Abel Martin from Lisbon, had the opportunity to meet and speak with Santa. The drive attracted attention from both children and adults, with one woman enthusiastically greeting Santa from her car.
By mid-morning, the collection included a diverse range of toys, from skateboards and footballs to Barbies and Nerf guns. The Masons strategically chose Black Friday for the drive, encouraging shoppers to participate by donating toys. Proctor emphasized the Masons’ dedication to community service and their aim to do good things for others.
This initiative reflects the community’s spirit of giving and the Masons’ commitment to making a positive impact during the holiday season.