Toy Drive and Giveaway in Oakland, California #USA
During this Christmas holiday, YSP/SFP Bay Area joined B.A.S.I.C. Ministry’s toy giveaway by hosting a toy drive in the volunteers’ local community; collecting over sixty toys and over $300 in donations to purchase and give toys for children.
Subsequently, on December 17, volunteers gathered at B.A.S.I.C. Ministry to pack toys and equipment into a big truck to bring to Elmhurst Park in Oakland; in preparation for the main event at 6 pm. As they were setting up, community members started to gather and children were running around the park. The whole event had a broader scope than merely distributing toys – the event was a community festival. There was entertainment from singing to dancing and praising God, along with food and a jumping castle for the children. The atmosphere was filled with joyful sounds of the community coming together, and children waited patiently for the moment when they could receive their gifts.
After much anticipation, the gates opened for the children to receive their gifts. Over three hundred gift bags, with two toys in each pack, were offered to the children. Children came in small and excited groups and left with big smiles on their faces.
The youth volunteers handed each gift with lots of love and smiles; wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. To witness the abundance of joy and smiles of families as children were handed their gifts was a wonderful and heartwarming experience for the volunteers.
A UC Berkley student remarked, “I would do it again in a heartbeat!”