SoMi Fitness owners and certified trainers William Del Sol and Unni Greene have once again joined forces with other local businesses to collect toys and donations for their annual toy drive benefitting local children. It will mark the fifth year this heartwarming South Miami tradition is taking place.
New unwrapped toys and gifts for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens, are being collected at SoMi Fitness, 6855 SW 81 St., Boca Tanning, on Sunset Drive, South Miami Police Station, and Williamson Cadillac Buick GMC on US1 and 104th St.
“Our intent is to foster that wholeness of spirit in terms of physical, emotional and spiritual health, and being one with the community,” says Greene. “If you talk about the holidays, that’s what it’s all about. What we really want to do is make an impact locally, share with our neighbors and make this time of the year special for as many people as we can.”
As they’ve done in the past, SoMi has partnered with several neighborhood businesses. This year, their partners include Boca Tanning, Calvary Chapel of Kendall, Williamson Cadillac Buick GMC, Marhaba Mediterranean Cuisine and Walgreens manager Jose Emilio Fernandez, who donated on behalf of his store, located at 6701 SW 56th St. All of this local participation, according to Greene, is what truly sets the event apart from other similar charitable efforts.
“There are so many other fundraisers and toy drives that specifically benefit larger associations and charities,” she says. “We rarely ever see the toys delivered to the children, so we felt like something
had to be done locally and it’s just grown and evolved throughout the years. It went from being 25 kids and their families the first year—it was very lovely and very intimate — to being this incredible event last year, just because of the sheer amount of kids and the anticipation from the community.”
The toy drive will culminate on Saturday, December 20 with a festive occasion at Mount Olive Church, located at 6316 SW 59 Place, where food will be served after mass. Last year, more than 900 gifts were handed out to local children from the church and its surrounding area, including students from South Miami Middle School.
“In our community, underprivileged neighborhoods live right next to very privileged ones and there is such a discrepancy between the two,” she says. “It’s great to not just be benevolent in giving people things, but to make sure that we establish ourselves as being one big community where everyone helps each other.”