6th Annual Toy Drive A Huge Success for 23 Local Families
Jose Ruiz, owner at LeGit Cut’s Barbershop in Fort Pierce, FL successfully hosted another outstanding toy drive for Fort Pierce families in need. In previous years, Ruiz and his partners Christa Stone, radio personality from B94.7 and Deb Pizzimenti were able to include a family friendly Block Party to culminate the toy drive efforts before distributing donated items to non-profits Mustard Seed Ministries and Suncoast Mental Health Center. Due to the virus, the group changed tack and offered wish lists to sponsors for filling.
And fill they did! Local businesses and friends including Sutherlin Nissan, CenterState Bank, Lawnwood ER Friends, UESI, We3 Unlimited, Florida Coast Equipment, Jarvis Treasures, Varsity Sports Shop, Florida Hemp Collective, Paw’s Required Grooming, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club and friends from the Facebook Event Page turned out in droves for 23 families in need. Families were identified by the non-profits, including New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee as having the greatest need and hit hardest during this difficult year.
More than 500 toys, electronics, pieces of sports equipment and more as well as hundreds of dollars in gift cards and donations allowed Ruiz and Team to grant just about every item wished for from 23 lists. “We love doing our block party and we really missed it this year, but we couldn’t be happier with the turn out and turn up from our sponsors and friends. People who came in for a haircut wanted to help. Sutherlin and all of our business partners were ready to help. Our business neighbors in downtown Fort Pierce. It was a huge coming together, but safely and individually, to make these Christmas wishes come true.” Ruiz commented.
Including the toys and wishes, a separate Christmas in the Fort event hosted by Howard Dunn and the Dunn Kids Foundation netted hundreds of toys at their photos with Santa and the Grinch at Causeway Cove Marina earlier in December. “After a challenging year, it was great to be able to safely give back to our families while celebrating the joys of the holidays. We are so grateful to be a part of these acts of care and compassion in our community to help our clients navigate through the holidays during this unprecedented time.” said Debra Engle, MS, CEO at Suncoast Mental Health Center.
For more information on LeGit’s Downtown Toy Drive, please contact Deb Pizzimenti at We3Unlimited@gmail.com or by calling 772-672-1794. The event’s Facebook page is here facebook.com/downtowntoydriveblockparty.
Elijah Adams and Jose Ruiz receiving a basketball hoop from Sutherlin Nissan for the toy drive.
Stacy Malinowski, Exec.Dir. at Mustard Seed helps wheel in more toys from the toy drive.
Christa Stone sorts toys at the Mustard Seed warehouse.
Christa Stone, Deb Pizzimenti, Jose' Ruiz and volunteer Elijah Adams wrapping up another successful event.
Elijah Adams (volunteer), Jose Ruiz and Stacy Malinowski unloading 2 of 3 truckloads of toys from the drive.
A sampling of the toys received at the Mustard Seed warehouse from the 2020 toy drive.
Deb Pizzimenti and Christa Stone checking items off the wish lists.
Personalized items that were donated to the families in 2020.
Jose Ruiz displaying some of the incredible electronics donations the toy drive received in 2020. --
B 94.7’s Christa Stone sorted hundreds of toys during the annual drive.