Google the phrase “toy drive” and 27 million possibilities arise, so it’s not a surprise that the folks at the tech company know there is a dire need for low-income families this holiday season. This is definitely the case for many Latino families in the Mission District of San Francisco, where escalating home prices and a median income of under $35K–as determined by a 2014 Mission Promise Neighborhood survey–means the purchase of a holiday gift is difficult to fit into the budget.
To help, Google approached MEDA, the former stating that they were ready to donate toys for 200 children in the Mission.
Explaining the reasoning behind this generous donation, Hector Mujica, Google Social Responsibility Strategist, states, “In San Francisco, we’re hoping to make the holidays a little brighter for our youngest neighbors in the Mission by distributing presents alongside MEDA and Good Samaritan Family Resource Center. These organizations do so much for the community year round, and Googlers are happy to be able to lend a hand.”
Google volunteers also wanted to help wrap these gifts, which were age-appropriate and ranged from Disney’s Simba Tales and Easy Stack ‘n’ Sounds for toddlers to books for older kids. MEDA staff and promotoras also pitched in for this effort last Wednesday evening, fingers deftly wrapping presents, the sounds of holiday music filling the air to create the perfect ambience for the season.
For outreach and a venue for this toy drive, it was the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center to the rescue.
“Good Samaritan was able to pass out gifts to 90 families for their children 11 years or younger. The families who participate in our programs were eligible. This was a great opportunity to provide the children of our families with educational gifts that promote literacy. Good Samaritan was also excited to be able to offer the children of our programs these gifts and organized an event called ‘Fiesta de Families,’ where they ate, did art activities with children, hit a piñata and received their gifts, “ states Claudia Leon, Family Services Manager for Good Samaritan.
As the toy drive took place this afternoon, smiles crossed the faces of parents, now feeling a sense of relief via the donation of a present to put under the tree for their children.
It takes a (Santa’s) village. Today, that village was called the Mission.
NOTE: See videos made by Google about the event: Google.com homepage promotion (’tis the season for giving and good cheer). MEDA (video) and Good Samaritan (video) were made as featured organizations.