Want to join me in making a difference? I'm raising money for We Are Not Invisible Foundation (Homeless In Fresno), and any donation will help make impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.
We Need Your Help this Holiday Season
I would like to ask for your help to provide toys to our homeless children, ages 1 to 18, along Motel Drive and in our community in Fresno.
Help us bring Toys & Joys to Girls & Boys this year!
For the past two years, my organization, We Are Not Invisible, has collected toys for the less fortunate in our community. Our first year we donated them all to a church. I was happy and felt really good to help out our forgotten children.
For the past couple years I have been advocating for the homeless in our community. I didn't just advocate; I would also help provide them survival supplies throughout the year through We Are Invisible. We also helped provide transportation and meet service needs to shelters, and got services out to them. We have created several projects along the way. These can be seen at Wanif.org.
During this time of doing outreach and seeing the amount of children living in motels and in the streets, I was shocked to find out that they were not receiving gifts for the holidays. This is who I thought would receive the gifts that I donated (less fortunate) to organizations that held toy drives. I called around to many churches and organizations and asked if any go out into the community to deliver gifts. I found out that they were more than happy to add the children to the list to receive a gift but they did not deliver gifts. I knew myself that these families were homeless and living in motels. They did not have transportation to go to churches or other toy outreach locations and definitely did not have enough bus money to go to and from any toy donations spots.
I also understood that after the age of 14, they are not eligible to receive a gift. I was really shocked about this, but instead of being sad, I decided that, instead of donating the gifts, I could go deliver them myself. So, I called a couple of friends with friends and set up a day to drive from motel to motel and deliver Christmas gifts to all the children and teens. I had a “Santa” volunteer (kids love Santa) and I had a couple of local motorcycle clubs volunteer to ride their bikes along with us (kids love motorcycles). So, with Santa, motorcycles, and gifts, the kids had a very happy, blessed day to remember.
We also had some of the community reach out and join us in our holiday toy caravan to deliver food and clothing. This is what community holiday spirit is about to me. It was a beautiful sight to see the amount of people from many different areas of Fresno come together for our forgotten community.
I also included teens up to 17 years of age. People asked why I do so and I say “why not?” These teens are homeless. Also, they have a huge responsibility on them. They help cook, clean, and raise their siblings, too. They deserve to be appreciated in every way. They are also our future.
One unfortunate thing that happened last year, though, was that when I went to pick up the toys from the toy drive, we had empty boxes. I was in shock and just cried. I had no idea what to do or say so I went online to cancel the hand out. Many people came together at once. I was, once again, in shock. I couldn't believe it. I was on an emotional rollercoaster and happy to see what the community came together to do. We definitely had enough toys that, in addition to the children on our list, we were able to find a complex dedicated to previously homeless families waiting for their own permanent home and bless them as well. Even though everything worked out at the last second, it was a very very emotional ride. This year, I am reaching out out further online than I had last year; before I have another emotional break down from not having toys (lol).
I would like to ask for your help with a donation to buy toys for these children in our community. Any amount of donation will help.
Help us bring Toys & Joys to Girls & Boys in Fresno this year.
All follow-up stories, to keep you up-to-date, will be posted on all our social sites which can be found on our web page at wanif.org.