Family of Jason McLean donates pile of toys to Amherstburg fire station #2

 

By Jolene Perron

 

“We all felt a little hopeless and originally it was a way to show Claudette and the kids how much we all care. It seemed like a simple token that Christmas to bring a toy to the Amherstburg parade and give the toy to one of Jason’s coworkers.”

The year after firefighter Jason McLean passed, Katie Wauthier explained the family had more time to process and thought it would be great to get McLean’s children Jaxon and Dylynn involved. Wauthier explained, the toy drive was important to McLean as a firefighter for 22 years, and the community he lived in, which made it the perfect tradition for the family to start for his children in memory of their father.

“The first year, it was just a couple toys and a Christmas card saying it was in memory of (McLean),” said Wauthier. “Last year the back of my Escape was full.”

Katie Wauthier (left) sits with Jason McLean’s daughter Dylynn (centre) and son Jaxon (right) in front of their mountain of boxes of toys, which they gathered and donated to Goodfellows through the Amherstburg Fire Department in the name of McLean last Sunday.

She added, she also had a check from her employer, Farrow for $500. This year, her employer is donating $2,000.

Wauthier said family is incredibly important to them, being able to come together and put together this large donation for the Goodfellows through the Amherstburg Fire Department and helping the kids follow in their father’s footsteps is “amazing to see.”

“He would hate the attention, but he would be proud of the kids for giving back to their community and helping kids in need,” said Wauthier. “The kids are so great with this. They help bring the toys in each year and pick out a few donations themselves. They never get upset about the toys not being for them. I hope it’s a tradition we can keep doing and Jaxon and Dylynn can one day take over and do it on their own.”

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