October 23, 2012

Groups join together in holiday toy effort

A number of local groups who have led past efforts to bring holiday cheer to Monroe County children are joining together this year to consolidate those efforts. Under the name “Holiday Helpers of the Florida Keys”, The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Key West Police Department and Wesley House Family Services will pool their resources with the goal of helping even more needy families during the upcoming holiday season.

Wesley House will be the umbrella organization who will lead the effort. They will register families in need and keep records for the program. The two law enforcement agencies will lend a hand with fundraising efforts, toy collection, toy delivery and anything else the program needs to succeed.

Plans for this holiday season include the distribution of 200 toy collection boxes to businesses county-wide. The boxes will be used to collect new, unwrapped toys. When the holidays approach, special “Toy Stores” will be set up in the upper, middle and lower Keys where needy families who are registered with the program will have the opportunity to shop for gifts (at no cost to them, of course!).

For more information, or to register a needy family for this program, contact Wesley House Family Services at 305-809-5025 or email holidayhelpers@wesleyhouse.org. You can also find information about the program on Facebook at Holiday Helpers of the Florida Keys – www.facebook.com/holidayhelpersofthefloridakeys.

In the photo: To kick off the joint effort, the Sheriff’s Office Toyz for Keyz Kidz program donated last year’s left over funds to the new Holiday Helpers program. All those in the photo were involved in other toy efforts in the past and are now on the board of directors for Holiday Helpers. Back row, Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detective Manuel Cuervo, Sheriff’s Colonel Rick Ramsay, Key West Police Community Affairs Officer Steve Torrence,  CEO of Wesley House Family Services Doug Blomberg, Media and Events Coordinator for the Wesley House Lissette Cuervo Carey. Front row, left to right, Sheriff’s Assistant Records Director Tiffany O’Connell and Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit Sergeant Linda Mixon.

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