In about 8 weeks the Christmas holiday will be upon us. You may have received the toy shopping magazines from Target and Toys R Us, giving you an idea of what to buy the special children in your life for Christmas and crossing items off from your gift list.
However, for many families in San Diego County, there won’t be gifts underneath the Christmas tree this holiday season. It’s been estimated that 17 percent of San Diego County’s children are living in poverty (Kidsdata.org) and that many will have to go without receiving any gifts this year.
In its 20 years the Rock Church has hosted, “Toys for Joy” event in which children are provided with a toy and food donation to help them celebrate the joy of the holiday season with their families. Since its inception, over 107,000 children and their families have been served.
Toys for Joy will take place this year on December 10, 2016 at four locations throughout the county. Special needs children are also welcome to participate but must register online at http://www.toys-for-joy.org/event-information. They will receive a “buddy tour” where a team helps them walk through the event areas and to show where the big toy room is before the day of the event. If the noise becomes too unbearable and/or distracting for the special needs child during the event, there is a “special needs room” where they can choose a toy and enjoy tons of activities for the whole family including prayer, dance/music, arts and crafts, food and even a “quiet room” if they would need a break from festivities and all the excitement.
The Rock Church is currently having a toy and clothing drive to provide for free toys and clothes for families in need for Toys for Joy. If you would like to donate a brand new toy for a child in need consider a virtual Toys for Joy drive where you can choose a toy from the Toys for Joy website and have it delivered to one of the sites. The goal is to have 25,000 toys given out.
If you are looking for other ways to help, consider volunteering for the event. Thousands of volunteers are needed to make this a successful event. Rally your friends, families, and social media followers to help out for this worthwhile event.