Saturday, September 19, 2020

Joy of Giving touches area hearts

 

 

The Joy of Giving, now in its twenty-second year, made the holiday season brighter for at least 1,120 Collier County children on Saturday, December11th. Nicki Davis, who started the charity, begins collecting funds for the event early in the year. Families are identified, primarily through the help of area schools. Sports Camp of Naples director Misty Nixon assists by verifying the family and the number of brothers and sisters of each child. The family is allotted a dollar amount based on the total available funds for the year and the number of children. This year the amount was about $60.00 per child. The families come to Walmart on Hwy. 951 near Hwy. 41 and shop for age appropriate items. From there the items get pre-scanned before finally going to a checkout register. Upon leaving Walmart, which has held the event since 2009, each family is given a turkey, compliments of
Families line up to have their items scanned.

Families line up to have their items scanned.

the Island Country Club.

Many businesses and organizations donate time and money to aid in the success of the event. “The support of Island Country Club has been indispensable. They donate financially, about $30,000.00 this year (as in year’s past), let alone 400 turkeys! Their members give of their time as well. Residents at Hideaway Beach give from their hearts too, approximately $12,000 to the children this year. Educators help out, the Rotary Club, Sports Camp, some local boy scouts, Upon a Star and more.” Nicki goes onto acknowledges the help of others who hold events during the year such as the Ride for Joy put together by Ernie Borden, Queen for a Day by Liz Havens at Skin Renewal Systems and many others who offer items to auction off or participate in some way. “It’s wonderful to see so many people help to make Christmas special for the little children

Teresa Morganstern with Misty Mixon (r). Misty could not be kept away, she left a hospital bed to be on hand. Photos by Val Simon

Teresa Morganstern with Misty Mixon (r). Misty could not be kept away, she left a hospital bed to be on hand. Photos by Val Simon

each year!” said Nicki.

Nicki says this about starting the charity: “It started at a time in my life when I was at the point of throwing in my dream of living in America and returning to what was home, England, when I left in 1983. It started two years before I got divorced (before my life with Doug). The Charity started at a time when I did not want to have Christmas, so I decided to spend Christmas by giving it instead. Life is a funny thing, even the worst times are just a journey to grow. My journey led me to Doug and by 1995 we were married. Doug is the start of where The Joy of Giving grew big. He gave me the guidance and self confidence to do it. Without him it would just be a few families I shopped for each year. Behind every good woman is a great man.”

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