Making Spirits Bright: Cleveland Toy Drive Reaches New Heights
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Our Holiday Toy Drive got started out of Skylight’s Cleveland office four years ago. The mission from day one was to make sure that children of all backgrounds can have presents under the tree during Christmas. As this year’s Toy Drive comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the efforts of our Cleveland office and the joy they have spread across our community.
The Toy Drive concluded last Thursday with a networking event in our Cleveland Penthouse. The Skylight Foundation team was able to collect 3,500 toys this year—shattering last year’s record of 2,445! These toys will find new homes this holiday season thanks to our partners at the Cleveland Police Foundation. The Cleveland Police partners with school districts across the city to give less fortunate children the chance to take part in Christmas. These programs involve a luncheon, Christmas stories read by Santa, and the opportunity for each child to pick out a toy of their choosing. Some of these donated toys will also be given to police for moments of crisis. Officers will keep toys in their squad cars and give them out to children affected by a fire or the loss of a loved one.
In addition to the Holiday Toy Drive, this year marks the first time the Skylight Foundation has “adopted” families in need. These families all have children facing serious illnesses and struggle with the financial burden that comes along with it. So, the Foundation teamed up with the American Heart Association, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and Cleveland Special Wish to lend a hand to 7 different children this Christmas. These courageous kids face everything from cerebral palsy to serious heart conditions. We asked each of them to write a letter to Santa about what they want for Christmas this year. Once the letter got to the North Pole the Cleveland team would help Saint Nick make each wish list a reality. Four-year-old Cece is one of these children, a brave little girl diagnosed with leukemia. Transcribed by her mother, Cece’s letter asked Santa for paint, barbies, and toys she could share with her sister and new baby brother. Thanks to the Cleveland team, Cece will wake up Christmas morning to find that Santa got her everything she wanted, and more!
The Cleveland team is incredibly grateful for the community leaders and organization that help make this year’s toy drive the best one yet. From the Cleveland Police Foundation, to the organizations that brought us our adopted families, to everyone who donated toys to this incredible cause. We also wanted to give a big shout out to our friends over at Steelyard Commons Target for being extremely supportive when our team showed up and filled up 75 carts! We cannot thank everyone enough for helping us bring holiday cheer to those who need it the most, and we wish you all a happy holiday.
Check out the photo gallery below: