Little Smiles of Florida kicked off the holiday season with the debut of its Annual Holiday Toy Drive this month. The organization is collecting gifts for children up to 18 years old through December 25. The gifts will be distributed to families via pickup at Little Smiles’ collection centers and directly to Little Smiles’ 32 pediatric partners, including hospitals, medical daycare centers, hospices, shelters, foster care homes, and medical support facilities.
“The holidays are a magical time for children, and with the help and generosity of our community, the Little Smiles Toy Drive brings joy to so many local children,” said Executive Director Nicole Mercado De Leon. “Whether the toys go to a child in the hospital, a foster child, or a child whose family is having a difficult time, the kindness is never forgotten, and the smiles on the kids’ faces are priceless.”
This year, Little Smiles’ is aiming to raise $150,000. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to participate and can request to become a toy drop-off location or become a sponsor. People can shop and bring new, unwrapped gifts to one of the many drop-off locations found here or directly to Little Smiles’ North Pole at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. Online options are available by texting LITTLESMILES to 44321, shopping from the Amazon Wish List, or donating here.
Little Smiles provides supports children and their caregivers and families at local hospitals and other facilities. The organization’s donations provide fun events for children facing hardship. They provide movie nights, arts and crafts, and comfort foods to stock hospital pantries. In addition, they fulfill individual needs and requests such as giving a toy to help distract a child after surgery, pajamas to stay extra comfy during their time at the facility, or even a cake and a present to celebrate a birthday during their time at one of the facilities.