I started this Project Christmas in December 2018. I was in my living room when the idea just hit me. I wanted to give toys to the kids in the Dominican Republic for Christmas. To my surprise, I was not shocked by the idea. I have always loved to give back. For me giving back is super important especially if I have the resources necessary to make a change. I got super ecstatic with the idea and decided to tell my mom. She loved it! That year, I bought enough toys for 15 girls and 15 boys. I was able to give them each a toy and a goodie bag. The box with the gifts was sent to where my mom grew up in Cenoví, San Francisco de Macoris. At the time, I was working as a cashier at a supermarket. The only capital that I used for the project was my paycheck for that week. The project turned out to be a success. I got pictures of the kids opening their toys and playing with them. Let me tell you, the feeling of satisfaction that consumed me that day was extraordinary! Below is a picture of the toys and the goody bags that I sent to the kids.
December 2019: I had new goals for Project Christmas. I wanted to expand the number of gifts to 25 girls and 25 boys. I was able to make more kids smile. I was also able to buy mothers some presentitos like my mom usually says. I bought a couple of hand soaps and towels.
December 2020: This year has been very chaotic. However, I still have many goals for this year's Project Christmas. First things first, I decided to change the name Project Christmas to Give Back With A Purpose. I love this name because the whole purpose of this project is to give back to the less fortunate. My next goal is expansion. I would love to expand this project to more locations. Before we go big, we have to continue small. I am thinking of adding a new location in the Dominican Republic, called Nizao. My parents traveled to D.R. last month. They told me that where they stayed there were a lot of children who had ripped clothes, broken sneakers, some stepped outside barefooted and others had broken sandals simply because they didn’t have a pair of sneakers. They suggested that they will enjoy some toys since they only had a few. When it comes to expansion, capital is required. Wanting to reach out to more kids means needing to buy more toys, more candy and more boxes. For these reasons, I have decided to start a GoFundMe account in order to receive donations. I have made an Instagram account as well as a Facebook account where I will be sharing updates and spreading the word. Since this year is my third anniversary with this project, I am planning to travel to the Dominican Republic and hand out the presents personally.
Future plans: I am thinking of turning this project into a nonprofit. I have to go through a couple of paperwork and finances to see if this is the smartest decision for the project. For future projects, I am planning to expand even more. I would like to give more toys, clothes, school utensils, shoes and more!
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- Laurie Krigman
- Erin Escobedo
- Richard Bliss
- Robert Bonnevie
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