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Dec 4, 2014

Toys For Tots is bigger and Better

It’s that time again…the annual Toys for Tots Christmas Party hosted by United Airlines. This year, the event was held at the Memorial Park in Belize City and like in the past, approximately fifty primary school students were treated to food, entertainment from clowns, Belizean artist TR Shine and Santa Clause, who provided them with gifts.  With all the excitement at the party, the media was also out having fun with the kids. The Toys for Tots initiative has grown even bigger says Indira Craig, who is the Country Manager for United Airlines. Craig told News Five that despite the fact that the initiative has been discontinued in other countries in the region, a U.S. based company has come onboard to assist.

 

Indira Craig, Country Manager, United Airlines

Indira Craig

“We have a new partner onboard. United has teamed up with BSK Holdings International and this year we are out at the Memorial Park doing a little bit bigger; if you notice we have a special guest artist today, TR Shine. We also have the face painting, we have our usual clowns, food drinks, games gifts, surprises and entertainment. Duane you know it’s an initiative that started from Continental and a lot of the other regions have discontinued doing the actual Toys for Tots event, but we have continued doing it now I think for fifteen years if I am not mistaken. It is definitely important, in our mind, it is an important initiative. There is a lot of children and sometimes we take it for granted. It’s a small thing and for some people it is seemed as an insignificant thing, but for kids it is a time when they look forward for a gift, they look forward to the whole feel of Christmas and what it comes along with. So for us it is an important thing.”

 

Duane Moody

“How were they selected, chosen?”

 

Indira Craig

“We asked the teachers to give us five of the kids that are living below the margins; the kids we identify as the ones that maybe not would be able to maybe have a Christmas this year. So that is how we normally go. We do the south side schools, we have ten south side schools, and we ask them to send us a couple of their children that they identify as the neediest to come out and just have a fun day out here with us. It’s an in-house initiative; it is our employees who have done a lot of the fundraising. This year, we’ve been lucky enough to have a partnership to come in onboard—even though it was a little bit late—which helps to make the event even better right. So we kinda decide year to year how many kids we are going to be catering for. I would love to be able to see this program be bigger—not just be bigger, but be in a remote area, a different part of the country, where we can actually reach a different kind of kids. What has happened because we have been doing it for so long, we find that the kids are very aware of this program and they look forward to it every year. The teachers are calling, when is the date, we are ready; the kids are so excited about it. So it is really a feel-good event, it is something that we look forward to at the end of the school year to give them that party to send them off with. And for us, it is just a part of building that relationship, having them be familiar with what we do and just sharing the joy of Christmas time.”

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