Christmas toys bring miles of smiles to kids in Bahamas

Donations help Dorian families have a Merry Christmas

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA – For the past 12 years, the Reach Out Youth Organization has been hosting a Christmas party. This year they didn’t know if they were going to have any toys or any presents to give the kids, but not even Dorian could keep Christmas away.

For 45 years, Freeport resident Vicky Martel has played Santa Claus, giving out toys to needy girls and boys, but this year after Dorian, Martel didn’t know how it was going to happen.

“I didn’t think they were going to get that much but because of all these toys, I know that most everyone is going to get a toy this year.”

Kay Dean’s son was one of the recipients. “Just to see his face light up with a toy, it means everything.”

There was Christmas magic thanks to a team of big hearted elves who have been on the ground on Grand Bahama and the Abacos, bringing relief ever since Hurricane Dorian unleashed her fury.

“We’ve seen the really hard side. Kids crying and laying on the ground because there is nowhere to sleep,” said Dr. Alison Thompson, a volunteer with Third Wave. “So to see the transition for that to now all the smiles, it’s beautiful, so heartwarming.”

Thompson put out the call that toys were desperately needed to brings some holiday cheer to hundreds in the Bahamas who could really use it. Thousands of brand new toys were donated. Many of the toys came from South Florida donations.

If not for this, so many kids here would have gone without this Christmas.

Resident Hilton Pedican said all the money he would have spent on Christmas toys had to go to fix the family’s home that was destroyed from Dorian.

It’s been four months since Dorian and there is still so much need, but never underestimate the power of a toy at Christmas. For these children, the donations mean everything.

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