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Kiwanis Club gathers Toys for Tots

For many children, Christmas time conjures up images of a mountain of gifts under their Christmas tree with many toys and treats inside.

But for countless others, receiving even one gift on this special holiday is cause for joy and celebration.

Such is the thought behind the latest charity drive by the Kiwanis Club of Nassau A.M. – Toys for Tots – which aims to provide Christmas gifts to children in the Bain and Grants Town areas this holiday.

The brainchild of Natila Saunders, director and Young Children Priority One chairperson of the Kiwanis Club of Nassau A.M., Toys for Tots encourages members of the public to donate one unwrapped gift to touch the life of one less fortunate child in the community.

Many individual acts of kindness will go a long way collectively – in fact, Saunders hopes to reach as many as 500 families this year.

“I know it sounds ambitious, but I think it’s very easy to do that and even more,” she said.  “We’re trying to get as many donations as possible so we can give them the Christmas that they deserve.”

As part of the service organization Kiwanis Club of Nassau A.M., Saunders has been involved with many programs that aim to provide food and clothing to those less fortunate, especially in the Bain and Grants Town areas.

Last year, when the organization undertook a major service project assisting two families, the reaction by the children to the toys they donated made an impression on Saunders and inspired her to establish Toys for Tots.

“You should have seen the joy on the children’s faces – they were elated,” she remembered.  “So I just wanted to do something that could touch even more children.”

Partnering up with Bank of The Bahamas is perfect for Kiwanis Club as an organization that gives back to the less fortunate.  Bank of The Bahamas employees dedicate their time to causes that are close to their hearts and which change the lives of others – and this program is no different.

All Bank of The Bahamas branches will be gift drop-off points during weekday business hours, as well as on Saturdays at the Harrold Road and Village Road branches which are open from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I wasn’t even expecting it to be this major but I’m really thankful because with Bank of The Bahamas as a partner, I’m sure it’s going to have an even greater impact,” said Saunders.

Once the drive closes on December 21, Bank of The Bahamas employees and Kiwanis members will sort the gifts and on Christmas Day will venture into the neighborhoods and provide them to the children and their families to make their holiday unforgettable.

Indeed, the drive taps into the true spirit of Christmas that encourages charity, selflessness and giving above receiving.  Above all, it encourages the community to come together to uplift those who really need it during this time of year when disparity and lack become more apparent and difficult to handle.

“It shows the children that we actually care, to have complete strangers come into the neighborhood to do something for them,” pointed out Saunders.  “It’s more special knowing that we go there on Christmas Day and they have something to look forward to on that special day.”

They are appealing to the public to donate any gift at the Bank of The Bahamas branches until December 21, whether books, stuffed animals, board games, dolls, actions figures – anything will make a difference, insisted Saunders.

“We’re asking for the public to respond to this very important project,” she said.  “It doesn’t require much.  No gift is too big or too small, and we’d appreciate anything because it will go a very, very long way.”

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