Organizers of a holiday toy drive for underprivileged children in northern New Mexico say the effort was a resounding success.
âWe ended up having Christmas for about 1,400 kids,â said Jyl DeHaven, a commercial real estate broker at EXIT Realty Advantage NM, who has been managing the toy drive for two years. “It’s such a much needed Christmas piece here.”
The campaign attracted approximately $ 36,000 in cash and gifts.
Northern New Mexico Toy Drive accepts toys and gift cards at area donation drop-off points, including Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and EspaÃ±ola. The gifts are then distributed to the children through a network of partner organizations.
This year, these organizations include Casa Familia; the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families; Jemez Pueblo; Las Cumbres; Presbyterian medical services; Resident Services Portfolio; Social Services of Santo Domingo; the indigenous center of Santa Fe; and Villa ThÃ©rÃ¨se Catholic Clinic.
Rollin Tylerr Jones, an inspector with the Santa Fe Fire Department, started the toy drive about 13 years ago. Jones was named one of New Mexicans 10 Who made a difference in 2019.
After the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, he and other first responders sought other people to host the event. EXIT Realty, along with experiential entertainment company Meow Wolf and others, took over in 2020.
âIf the kids felt like I was having a good Christmas, I would be happy,â Jones said.