By Coastal Breeze News Staff
The Joy of Giving has been giving gifts to children in Collier County for 25 years! This year, the goal is to reach 1,000 needy children, providing them and their families an evening at Walmart to choose holiday gifts.
The Marco Riders will help meet that challenge when they hold their annual Ride for Joy Poker Run on Sunday, November 17. Registration at Porky’s begins at 8:30 AM and includes a complimentary breakfast. Kick stands are up at 10 AM, and the first bikes will roll out. They will head to Rodes Restaurant and Fish Market on Bonita Beach Road for their first stop, then to Junkanoos in Fort Myers Beach, with the third stop at Porky’s in Naples. They’ll head back to Porky’s on Marco Island for final Poker cards at 3:30 PM. There will be prizes; $100 for the best hand, $50 for the worst hand, as well as an auction.
The Joy of Giving needs to raise $80,000 this year to meet its goal of reaching 1,000 children with gifts this Christmas. The charity works with service organizations and schools throughout Collier County to pre-qualify children for eligibility. Of every donation made to the Joy of Giving, 100 percent goes directly to buy gifts for the children. Once a child is selected, all siblings are included. All administration costs of the Joy of Giving are donated as are the many volunteer hours needed to organize this annual outreach. Donations to the Joy of Giving are tax-deductible.
This year’s Joy of Giving event will take place on Saturday, December 14 at 6 AM at Walmart, 6650 Collier Boulevard, Naples. As each family leaves the store with items from their child’s wish list, they will receive a free frozen turkey courtesy of Island Country Club, also supporters of the Joy of Giving.
Nicki began her annual ‘giving quest’ 25 years ago by wanting to fill her own void of missing family and friends at Christmas. She and a few generous volunteers had Santa deliver a sack full of clothes and toys to a seven year old girl. The little girl threw her arms around Santa and said, “Santa, I knew you wouldn’t forget me! Last year I waited and waited and you didn’t come!” This inspired Nicki, and since that time, thousands of little children in need in Collier County have enjoyed the magic of the Christmas who might not have otherwise.
Nothing can compare to hearing a ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Feliz Navidad’ from a little child who may be leaving the store with the first holiday gifts they’ve ever received. It is much more than a gift, it’s hope for a young child.
For more information on the Joy of Giving, to donate or to volunteer, contact www.JoyofGivingchildren.org, or call Nicki Davis at 239-642-0119.