WANI is again bringing toys to children living on Motel drive for our 5th Annual Toys and Joys for Girls and Boys!
We are taking donations, wrapping them and sending out “Santas” to deliver presents to children on Motel Drive! This year will be different, as we take COVID-19 safety precautions: Wrapping parties will be limited in size in a large hall and tables will be spaced 20 feet away. On delivery day, instead of a caravan, we will have individual “Santas” deliver the toys.
Ways to get involved:
-Be a “Santa” and deliver toys on December 23. If you would like to be a “Santa,” please email email@example.com
–Help with the wrapping parties, December 12 and 18 (see flyer below)
–Donated toys. Drop off toys at the Big Red Church, 2131 Van Ness Blvd. Call 227-8489 to coordinate drop off. The church is open Monday through Friday from 9:30am-3pm
You can also purchase gifts on our Amazon Wishlist
-Donate supplies We can use donations of cellophane tape and wrapping paper
Financial donations are also accepted for the purchase of supplies and toys.
About Toys and Joys for Girls and Boys
We Are Not Invisible launched our annual Toys and Joy for Girls and Boys drive to take toys to homeless children along Motel Drive because these children often are not included in other toys drives, due to their parents inability to participate in the other programs. During our other outreach efforts, I’d see the amount of children living in motels and in the streets, and I was shocked to find out that they were not receiving gifts for the holidays, This is who I thought would receive the gifts that I donated to organizations that held toy drives. I called around to many churches and organizations and asked if any go out into the community to deliver gifts. I found out that they were more than happy to add the children to the list to receive a gift but they did not deliver gifts. I knew myself that these families were homeless and living in motels. They did not have transportation to go to churches or other toy outreach locations and definitely did not have enough bus money to go to and from any toy donations spots.” Toy drives often exclude children of certain ages, as the cut off age is usually 14, leaving out those who are 15-17. This inspired the Toys and Joys For Girls and Boys toy drive and outreach. I was really shocked about this, but instead of being sad, I decided that, instead of donating the gifts elsewhere, I could go deliver them myself. So, I called a couple of friends with friends and set up a day to drive from motel to motel and deliver Christmas gifts to all the children and teens. I had a “Santa” volunteer (kids love Santa) and I had a couple of local motorcycle clubs volunteer to ride their bikes along with us (kids love motorcycles). So, with Santa, motorcycles, and gifts, the kids had a very happy, blessed day to remember. We also had some of the community reach out and join us in our holiday toy caravan to deliver food and clothing. This is what community holiday spirit is about to me. It was a beautiful sight to see the amount of people from many different areas of Fresno come together for our forgotten community. Since then, we have continued to spearhead the effort annually, connecting with families we see throughout the year. We encourage you to donate to the age groups often overlooked: children up to three and teenagers. When people donate, it’s usually for children ages four through twelve. I’m often asked why we include the older teens. I say “why not?” These teens are homeless. Also, they have a huge responsibility on them. They help cook, clean, and raise their siblings, too. They deserve to be appreciated in every way. They are also our future. =