At Side By Side Smiles we are passionate about helping others, and this year we are excited to announce that we will be running a toy drive to collect monetary and toy donations for children with special needs.
While hundreds of toy drives run every holiday season, very few specifically cater to differently abled children. Often times, kids with special needs can benefit from different types of educational and sensory toys. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Early Learning Center, which provides support and educational services for kids in elementary school with autism and other developmental disabilities.
The Side By Side Smiles Toy drive will run from October to mid December with a goal of raising at least $10,000 and reaching 100 toy donations. During this time, all donations we receive will be going towards the toy drive.
The Side By Side Smiles Toy Drive for children with special needs was a huge success thanks to all the wonderful support we received from our community. All the toys were wrapped by amazing volunteers, and each child received one or more educational toys, a stuffed animal, at least one book, and a personalized holiday card! All 146 students at the Early Learning Center received the Christmas gifts they asked for, and were overjoyed by all the special surprises. None of this would have been possible without the help of our incredibly generous donors and volunteers. We cannot thank you all enough for your efforts and for making this toy drive possible.
The toy drive even received national recognition, and Side By Side Smiles' efforts were recognized on a feature by the Today Show.