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Little Smiles’ toy drive returns

Donated toys and games at the Little Smiles of Florida's annual toy drive.

Photo by Little Smiles of Florida.

Little Smiles of Florida’s annual toy drive continues its mission to help kids be kids. The organization is collecting gifts through Dec. 25 for children from newborns to age 18.

The gifts are distributed through collection centers for families to pick up and through Little Smiles’ 32 pediatric partners, including hospitals with children fighting life-threatening illnesses, medical day care centers, hospices, shelters, foster care homes and medical support facilities.

“The holidays are a magical time for children, and with the help and generosity of our community, the Little Smiles toy drive brings joy to so many local children,” Executive Director Nicole Mercado De Leon says. “Whether the toys go to a child in the hospital, a foster child or a child whose family is having a difficult time, the kindness is never forgotten, and the smiles on the kids’ faces are priceless.”

Jerry Somma, Virginia Sinicki, and Nicole Mercado.

Photo by Little Smiles of Florida.

Little Smiles’ goal is to raise $150,000.

Businesses are encouraged to participate by requesting a toy drop-off box or becoming a sponsor. People can shop and bring new, unwrapped gifts to any of the drop-off locations found at or to Little Smiles’ North Pole at Harbourside Place in Jupiter.

Online options are available by texting LITTLESMILES to 44321, shopping from the Amazon wish list or donating on the website.

Little Smiles provides year-round support, bringing joy to children, caregivers and families at hospitals and other facilities. Donations cover movie nights, arts and crafts and food for the hospital pantries.

Little Smiles also fulfills individual needs and requests, such as a toy to distract a child after surgery, pajamas to stay comfy as an in-patient and a cake and present to celebrate a birthday in a hospital.

Little Smiles is a not-for-profit organization operating in Palm Beach County and Southeast Florida. It was founded in 1999 by businessman Paul L. Donohue, who saw a need to bring comfort and joy to children and their caregivers at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.


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