Centro San Juan Diego to collect toys for children in need
By Nissa LaPoint
Organizers of Centro San Juan Diego’s annual toy drive want to make a needy child smile this Christmas.
“We know there are a lot of families struggling,” said assistant director Jennie Marquez. “And each year there’s more and more families.”
For the third year, the organization is partnering with local groups to collect new and unwrapped toys to be distributed to migrant, immigrant and low-income children. Those interested in donating are encouraged to collect and bring the toys to the toy drive called Jugueton (Toy drive) 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at Centro San Juan Diego, 2830 Lawrence St. in Denver.
The toy drive is a day for donors and selected families to celebrate with activities including photos with St. Nicholas, a visit from Colorado Rockies mascot Dinger, a magician, puppet show and a children’s choir.
At the event, donating companies will be interviewed live on 1150 KNRV-AM Spanish-language station radio—followed with recognition in print through El Comercio, a Spanish-language newspaper, and on the Spanish-language television network Telemundo Denver.
Recipients of the toys will include boys and girls, ages 3 to 12, identified through Hispanic Ministry and other local groups, including Project VIDA for disabled children, and the Latina Safe House for battered women with children. The Denver Mayor’s Office is also a partner.
“Because we’ve had such wonderful generosity from the community, we’ve extended the help to other groups,” Marquez said.
Toys collected will be personally distributed the week before Christmas. Last year, some 2,000 toys were collected, organizers said.
For more information about donations, call Centro at 303-295-9470. Families seeking toys for their children are encouraged to call Centro or contact their local parish.