Santa Project aims to collect gifts for 46 childrenWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
For the second year, “Andrew’s Angelz” are attempting to gather enough gifts to make the holiday wishes of local, needy families come true.
Gina Fielding, social media director for Toledo Free Press, organized the effort, deemed the “Santa Project.” She also recently organized a Halloween costume drive.
Last year, the Santa Project collected gifts for 31 kids.
“It was very successful. I always get a little bit nervous,” Fielding said. “But this city always amazes me. They always come through.”
This year, there are 46 children who need gifts, but more will be added if there are enough donations. About half of the children live in a battered women’s shelter.
“These poor kids have left everything they had behind, so some of the things they left behind are replacement items,” Fielding said.
Some of the mothers are asking for items like diapers and baby food. A 16-year-old girl wants a school uniform, Fielding said.
“A lot of them are asking for a lot of basic needs like pots and pans. They’re starting over. The biggest thing with them is about giving the women hope, not just gifts,” Fielding said.
Some of the children want what many do — video games and other toys.
“A video game might seem frivolous to someone who is looking from the outside in … but for kids, it’s hours of escape from real life,” Fielding said.
She encouraged everyone to donate a dollar so she can add more families to the Santa Project.
“People have $1 of change in their couch cushion. If everybody donated $1, we would be able to take care of all of these kids and then some.”
Gently used items are accepted.
“The rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t want to give it to your own child, you wouldn’t want to give it to another child,” Fielding said.
Wish lists are available at http://www.facebook.com/events/492507920793358/. Items that are not on the lists, but are still age-appropriate, are accepted.
Donations can be made in several ways. Monetary donations can be made at http://andrewsangelz.chipin.com/andrews-angelz-2nd-annual-santa-project. Items can be dropped off at Cumulus, 3225 Arlington Ave., Toledo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 21. Pickups can also be arranged through Fielding at (567) 694-8204. The goal is to have everything collected by Dec. 23.