Tis the season for the SoMi Fitness annual holiday toy drive. This is the fifth year that William Del Sol and Unni Greene, certified personal trainers and owners of SoMi Fitness, have partnered with South Miami businesses and residents to collect toys and gifts and donate them to the children of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
“We started the toy drive because we wanted to give back to our community,” said Greene. “It’s gotten bigger and bigger every year.” New unwrapped toys for children of all ages and fashion items such as watches, handbags and sunglasses for teenagers can be dropped off through Friday, Dec. 20, to the collection boxes at SoMi Fitness, located at 6855 SW 81 Street, and Boca Tanning Club, 5600 Sunset Drive. Cash donations are also accepted and will be used to purchase gifts for the children.
Peter Pasquale Carbone of Boca Tanning Club invites friends, neighbors and clients to drop off a toy or gift and receive a $25 gift certificate for services at Boca Tanning Club. “Whatever path your life takes, it’s important to give something back – to your community, your state or your country,” he said. “This is a worthwhile cause.”
Local businesses such as Meridian MedSpa are rallying support. Other businesses in the community can also join the effort and set up donation locations.
“We encourage everyone to get involved this year and help us make the holidays brighter for many children,” said Del Sol. “We also invite everyone to come with us when we visit the church to deliver the toys and gifts. The joy on the children’s faces when they choose a gift is absolutely priceless.”
Del Sol, Greene and the “holiday elves” will deliver the toys and gifts to more than 100 underprivileged youngsters at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 p.m. The church is located at 6316 SW 59 Place in South Miami.
More than 200 toys were given to the children at last year’s event. Shuntee Stukes of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church said the group’s generosity raises the spirits of children who are less fortunate.
“This has become a wonderful tradition,” she said. “The children and their parents and grandparents are so thankful for the gracious donations from the community. Even though times are getting harder for everyone, this group works a miracle for us each year.”
Del Sol and Greene inspire others in and out of the gym. The pair offers personal training, boot camps, group classes, contest preparation and nutritional counseling at SoMi Fitness. Greene recently launched her new e-book Eat More to Lose More, an easy-to-use guide that divulges her nutrition, workout and mental training secrets, teaching people how to shed fat and get in great shape.
To get involved or make a donation, visit Del Sol and Greene at SoMi Fitness or contact them at <email@example.com> or 786-488-6842.