Christmas Toy Drive held for ninth-straight year

The 25 Days of Christmas Toy Drive runs again this holiday season from Nov. 28 through Dec. 13, early enough for the donations to be distributed in time for Christmas Day.

The popular toy drive was started nine years ago by Victoria Bise, then age 13. A press release stated that her sister, Elisabeth, took over the initiative after Victoria left for college.

“Every year, we receive amazing donations from individuals and businesses who love to know this toy drive is run by children (well, teenagers now), as they feel the girls motives are genuine and not dictated by anything else but to make children of the Cayman Islands happy during the Holidays …” said their mother, Veronique, in a press release.

“We want to teach our children real values, such as caring for others and [to] appreciate all the blessings they personally have, and their commitment to their little homegrown charity proves that they understood this, and will become caring and thankful adults.

“The toy drive requests a lot of hours of work, spent organizing, responding to emails, designing the flyer, public speaking and sorting through gifts, which all are skills the girls will need for their entire life,” she said.

A page has been set up to accept cash donations for those unable to purchase and drop off gifts, and to make it easier for those off island to contribute. Cash donations are used to purchase items for teenagers, said the release, as well as to purchase items for the pediatric ward at George Town Hospital.

With over 500 foster children in care in the Cayman Islands, the Toy Drive aims to have enough gifts so each child has something to unwrap.

Toys and gifts for babies through to teenagers are collected every year at the Cayman Islands Customs Agency (39 Ashgo St., off Godfrey Nixon Way).

“They have been our sponsor since we started this drive and faithfully, each year, collect and deliver the gifts to the Department of Children and Family Services. It literally takes one of their large trucks to fit everything in,” said Elisabeth.

Donations are also delivered to the George Town Hospital Pediatric Ward.

For more information, contact 926-5599 (Veronique, Mom) or 925-5707 (Darrell, Dad) or email [email protected] Facebook page is The 25 Days of Christmas Toy Drive.