Friday, April 16, 2021

Kiwanis Gives – Toys For Kids

Last year’s Toys For Kids at Manatee Elementary School Photo by Maureen Chodaba

Last year’s Toys For Kids at Manatee Elementary School Photo by Maureen Chodaba

It is said that people are always happier for having been happy. If you make someone happy now, you make them happy twenty years hence by the memory of it.

The holidays are such magical times. They are the times in our lives that are engraved with the precious keepsakes of memories that we hold in our hearts. Close your eyes and think back to the days of childhood when you wrote that special letter to Santa with all your special wishes and dreams. Remember the excitement, the joy and the love. Remember that feeling and embrace the memory of that child that still lives in your soul!

Not every child is blessed with such happiness for the holidays. This year, more than ever due to the effects and aftermath of Hurricane Irma, some of our local children may not have the opportunity to experience the jubilation and magic of Christmas.



Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. Every December since 2004, the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island has provided a Christmas gift to every child at Manatee Elementary School, personally presented by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The club has also provided gift cards to other children in need, as identified by school counselors, at Tommie Barfield Elementary School and the Marco Island Charter Middle School.

In December, members of the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island will be purchasing toys for this purpose at Toys-R-Us in Naples. The cost of this endeavor of love is $7,000. In order to make this dream come true, they need to raise funds. That’s where you can help.

There will be two 50/50 raffles for the cause. The first will be at CJ’s on Thursday, December 7th from 4 to 7 PM. The second will be at Stan’s in Goodland on Sunday, December 10 from 12 to 4 PM. Come on out to have a good time in support of this good cause!

Can’t make it to those events? You can still be a part of the Kiwanis Toys for Kids drive. Personal donations are gladly accepted. Please help to make a child’s Christmas wishes come true by writing a check to the Kiwanis Foundation of Marco Island and mailing it to the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, PO Box 2014, Marco Island, FL, 34146. Please indicate

“Toys For Kids” on your check.

Give from your heart and make a child happy this holiday season. You just might find that you will make yourself happy, too! I want to thank long-time supporters such as Island Country Club’s Charitable Foundation for their amazing donation and their work on shopping day to ensure children get age appropriate gifts, as well as giving a turkey to each family. We could not do this without them. I want to thank Ernie Borden and Autocraft for their amazing support each year. Much appreciation to the Condominium Managers of Marco Island for their donation and the Noontime Rotary Club for their incredible support. The teachers and volunteers helping out on that special shopping day, as well as Coldwell Banker for supplying postage and printing letters for the Joy of Giving, and Marco Office Supply for keeping us supplied with stationery. There are many people that make the giving of Christmas joy possible every year. I am so afraid I will miss someone if I try to name them all!”

If you would like to donate to the Joy of Giving and provide Christmas to a needy family, send it to the Joy of Giving, P.O. Box 2302, Marco Island, FL 34146. Or, you can make a direct deposit at First Florida Integrity Bank.

100% of your donation will go directly to children in need. “Once you make a child happy at Christmas, one who might not have had the experience otherwise, once you see that smile or hear that Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad, you’ll know why we’ve done this every year for the last three decades. These kids need us. Everyone associated with the Joy of Giving thanks you for your support.”

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