Maria Landron, the Royal Palm Beach resident who led the village through a historic U.S. Census response, has kicked off a holiday collection drive to benefit refugee and immigrant children.
The 22-year-old was named one of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Women of Distinction scholars earlier this year.
“I remember my first Christmas in the United States,” Landron said. “It can be so difficult for families who come here with nothing, or who are forced to leave their homes. A lot of kids who migrate, especially under excruciating circumstances, grow up too soon. Every child deserves to experience being a kid and receiving a toy to play with can help with that.”
Landron’s goal is to collect more than 500 toys, clothing items and other gifts for children. The drive is being completed in partnership with PBA CKI, a college service-leadership organization supported by the West Palm Beach Kiwanis Club.
A majority of the toys will be donated to the Esperanza Community Center, serving the Northwood area of West Palm Beach. The facility serves over 100 children and their families during the holiday season. The center’s services include adult literacy, English as Second Language classes, education on wage theft prevention and immigration experts. Throughout the pandemic, Esperanza worked to educate workers and their families about how to stay safe and has vaccinated more than 300 migrants in West Palm Beach. To donate to the toy drive, visit the Amazon wish list at www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1NP5XFMV9ZVEB.
Those interested in supporting the Esperanza Community Center directly can donate at https://esperanzacommunitycenter.org.