Amigos for Kids, a Miami-based nonprofit organization that aims to prevent child abuse and neglect, has announced its 29th annual Holiday Toy Drive that will happen on Dec. 12 and 13, 2020. The toy drive aims to grant the wishes of underserved children in South Florida whose families may not be able to buy them holiday gifts, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To promote the safety and health of all participants, this year’s Toy Drive will follow all safety guidelines, including social distancing. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they pick up their toys at José Martí Park or the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA). At both of these sites, there will be staff, board members, and volunteers present to hand-deliver the toys to children.
If there are any toys collected that do not serve a particular request from a child, those toys will be redistributed in partnership with local organizations including Kiwanis of Little Havana, Citrus Health Children, Everglades Housing, and various Schools for Children in Need. The goal is to assure that children in disadvantaged communities are able to have a happy Christmas this year, even if their families may not be able to afford it.
The toy drive comes after Amigos for Kids stepped up to serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization supplied food and school supplies to communities in need. Now, according to the CEO of Amigos for Kids, Karina Pavone, the team is excited to help children’s wishes come true.
“The holiday season strengthens our determination to ensure that the children we serve can feel the joy, love and happiness of that special time of year,” said Pavone.
This determination was turned to action with the help of many sponsors, donors, and volunteers that helped bring this Toy Drive to life. One of these sponsors was the South Motors Group, run by CEO and President Jonathan Chariff, who said that the company is a proud long-time supporter of Amigos for Kids, especially during a time like this, when the pandemic increased the financial difficulties of families in South Florida and beyond.
"We wholeheartedly believe that all children, regardless of their family's financial situation, deserve the joy of the holiday season and we are proud to be able to contribute that," said Chariff.
Beyond supporting underserved children, however, the Amigos for Kids toy Drive aims to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect, a mission carried about the organization through family support and community education on the topic. According to the president of the board of directors of Amigos for Kids, Nicole Valls, this event is a landmark event in the community and she is grateful for the chance to participate in it.