Amigos For Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and educating communities, and Ford Motor Company Fund, once again, will join forces to ring in the most wonderful time of the year with the Amigos For Kids 26th Annual Holiday Toy Drive on Sunday, December 17.
Sharing in the spirit of giving, Amigos For Kids has held the annual holiday toy drive for over a quarter century. The toy drive not only creates awareness about child abuse and neglect; it serves as a gift-giving program fulfilling thousands of holiday wishes for underprivileged children.
“Child abuse prevention and educating the community are at the core of our efforts, but since 1992 we have put on our Santa’s helper hats to fulfill thousands of heartfelt holiday wishes,” said Rosa Maria Plasencia, President and CEO of Amigos For Kids. “Throughout the years, the toy drive has grown exponentially thanks to amazing donors, corporate collaborators, volunteers, and especially Ford Motor Company Fund. This year, the Holiday Toy Drive is even more special since we are celebrating 25 years of continued service, and Ford’s decade-long commitment to this initiative. Thank you, South Florida, for your unwavering support of our efforts, and for spreading Christmas cheer to the underprivileged in our community!”
The Amigos For Kids 26th Annual Holiday Toy Drive will kick off from El Dorado Furniture for a daylong caravan featuring Santa Claus, local celebrities, community leaders and volunteers making stops in Florida City and Little Havana. In previous years, Santa’s celebrity helpers included: Maria Celeste Arraras, Maritza Bustamante, Ana Maria Canseco, Ximena Cordoba, Gabriel Coronel, Carmen Dominicci, Andrea Escalona, Lili Estefan, Elizabeth Gutierrez, Rosita Hurtado, Boris Izaguirre, Abdiel Larralde, Carmen Jara, Carlos Mena, Carlos Navarro, Priscila Perales, Carlos Ponce, Pamela Silva Conde, Sonya Smith and Felipe Viel to name a few.
These celebrities, along with over 200 Amigos volunteers, participate as the organization grants Christmas wishes. As a result of the need due to Hurricane Irma, this year’s heartfelt wishes include food for families, furniture, a sewing machine, Christmas trees and decorations, tickets to sporting events and much, much more.
After distributing toys to over 300 children in Florida City, the caravan continues to Jose Martí Park where 250 more kids receive Christmas gifts. Toy distribution then continues in Broward on December 18, and is set to carry on until December 22 to ensure all children receive their special requests. Kids identified to receive gifts are from organizations including: Amigos Strengthens Families and Communities Program, Branches of Love, Our Kids, Westwood Elementary in Broward and will include the Florida Keys and Immokalee.
The Annual Holiday Toy Drive serves as a component of Ford Motor Company Fund’s community relations program, “Operation Better World.” Ford’s decade-long partnership with Amigos For Kids highlights its commitment to enhance educational opportunities, automotive safety, human services, and quality of life to the South Florida area.
Amigos For Kids would like to thank the following sponsors for another successful Holiday Toy Drive: Ford Motor Company Fund; Gus Machado Ford of Kendall and Hialeah; Metro Ford; Doral Lincoln; Academica Charter Schools; CASACUBA; Continental National Bank; El Dorado Furniture; FedEx; Gloria Estefan Foundation; La Carreta; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. at The Falls; Univision23, República and Versailles Cuban Restaurant.