By Coastal Breeze News Staff
The Joy of Giving has ‘wrapped up’ its 25th year.
“This was a monumental year for us,” said Nicki Davis, founder of the Joy of Giving, “not only in the number of years we have supplied gifts to children, but in the numbers of children needing help. The amount of funds raised was also significant. We identified 1,002 children in need and raised over $80,000 to make their Christmas special. We couldn’t do it without the kindness of so many. The generosity of different groups and organizations is amazing and it is what makes the Joy of Giving work.”
One sponsor of the Joy of Giving is the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation (ICCCF). Not only did they contribute a large portion of the operating funds, they also provided volunteers at the registers. When a family is on its way out of Walmart, they provide a frozen turkey for Christmas dinner. This year, ICCCF handed out about 350 turkeys. “They have been our longest and most loyal supporter.”
Lines started forming at Walmart at 6650 Collier Boulevard in the wee hours of the morning on December 14. “Walmart has done a fantastic job in supporting the Joy of Giving, too. Managers energize the employees and they are ready with smiling faces to do whatever they can to help. They have really streamlined the entire process and every year just gets better and runs more smoothly,” said Nicki. Teachers, principals, members of agencies that work with children – all are involved.
Nicki and the organization’s right hand, Misty Sayeh, thank everyone for opening their hearts to the children of Collier County. “The stories we hear every year are incredible. When these families come in to shop and we see the children with smiling faces as they leave, it makes it all worthwhile.” Planning for the 2014 Joy of Giving begins soon. If you would like to help, contact: www.joyofgivingchildren.org.