For the fourth year, Orange County employees and the community put smiles on the faces of children in need by donating 4,655 toys in November and early December through Mayor Jacobs’ Holiday Heroes Toy Drive. Through this Orange County tradition of “neighbors helping neighbors”, the spirit of giving was brought to life for thousands of infants, children and teens throughout the County.
Giving back to the community has been a top priority of Mayor Jacobs’ administration. This year, toys were collected in big holiday boxes placed in Orange County facilities and then distributed to children and young adults through Orange County’s Neighborhood Centers for Families, Wraparound Orange, Orange County Public Schools’ homeless program, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in Orlando, the Community Food and Outreach Center, the American Red Cross and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Inc.
A highlight of the annual giving campaign provides families in need an invitation to “shop” at their local Neighborhood Center for Families to select toys for their children. This year, the NCF held 20 shopping events at their 13 centers, which provided 520 youth and their families the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with 1,832 gifts. Additionally, almost 400 Wraparound Orange children received more than 835 toys through the generous hearts of donors. Orange County Public Schools received 748 toys and Toys for Tots were given 347 items for infants and toddlers. This heartwarming effort continues to be a high point of the holidays for our entire community!