The Village of Wellington’s holiday programs — the Hometown Holiday Food Drive and the Hometown Holiday Toy Drive — were great successes in their sixth years.
Through generous donations provided by the community, more than 130 families were able to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the table, and more than 300 children were treated with gifts this holiday season.
On the Friday before Christmas, the toy drive brought smiles to the faces of young hospital patients.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office representatives Candi Price, Deputy Scott Poritz and Deputy Jason Horowitz were joined by Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue representatives Chief Ken Sehres, Jorge Garcia, R.J. Afanador and Capt. John Garrow, Meridith Tuckwood from Wellington’s Community Services Department, Councilwoman Anne Gerwig, Pastor Jay Carrero, Gregg Harr, Es Medrano Meyer, Palms West Hospital Pediatric Director Cathryn Hinton and Santa Claus from the Mall at Wellington Green.
Smiles were seen all around as the children were given toys and had the opportunity to meet Santa Claus.
On Monday, Dec. 22, eligible parents were able to peruse donated toys at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church to find the perfect gifts for the approximately 300 children in the community who otherwise might have gone without this holiday season.
The outpouring of community support enabled organizers to give boxes of additional toys to HomeSafe, the Children’s Hospital at Palms West and the Kids Cancer Foundation. The extra toys, Tuckwood explained, are given to the children throughout the year who are sick or struggling.
“We have a very, very generous community that is always there to help,” Tuckwood said.
You can put one gift in the toy bin, she explained, and think it doesn’t mean anything. “But it does,” she said. “Because of you and everyone else like you, doing the same thing, we were able to do this.”
At least 1,000 toys were donated, ensuring that many children would have a happier holiday. To learn more about these programs, or how to make a donation, call (561) 791-4000.
ABOVE: Scott Campbell (left) and Meridith Tuckwood (right) from the Village of Wellington with Cynthia Jackson, Sheryl Beach and Pastor Emily Denmark McGee at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church.