There are lots of organizations that do great work lifting the spirits each holiday season, trying to bring gifts and household necessities to families that aren’t able to provide fully for themselves. Toys for Tots (run by the Marine Corps) is perhaps best known, each major TV broadcast network does their own drive, as do hospitals, workplaces, gyms and schools, and service organizations in their local communities. Often you bring an unwrapped, new toy to a drop-off point, and they do the rest, making sure the gifts get wrapped and delivered to households to coincide with Santa’s visit (or Hanukkah time, or other winter holiday traditions in the home).
One of these programs was recently pointed out to me: the Forgotten Angels event put on each year by the Ozanam Inn in New Orleans. Ozanam Inn has been serving the homeless of the Big Easy since 1955, and the big toy drive event is this Saturday. They need 250 new toys and warm winter clothing so the children and their parents, who will be bused from shelters, can receive a warm holiday meal and a gift.
“We just want them to be kids, not homeless children, for a day and enjoy the holidays,” says Ozanam Administrator Clarence Adams. “We’re worried that we won’t have enough toys to go around this year. People can drop off new, unwrapped toys and winter clothes at fourteen donation bins in the metro area thanks to Ritz-Carlton and Marriott.” Tomorrow, Friday, is the deadline for the event, so if you’re not down south, you may not be able to do this particular give, but you can give to the organization to be sure their important services continue all year. Empty bellies growl from hunger 365 days a year, so let’s ramp up the spirit of the season and start giving today. Donations can easily be made here, and volunteer information for Ozanam Inn can be found here.