Puerto Vallarta - Smiles and hope were everywhere around the Bahia de Banderas last Monday, January 10 as Toys for Tots volunteers distributed over 7,000 new toys to some of the poorest kids in the region on January 10, 2011, the first school day after Three Kings Day.
Just the Friday and Sunday before, dozens of volunteers from the Navy League of Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican Navy, and the Casa Magna Marriott assembled to organize eight delivery routes with dozens of vehicles led by the Navy League members, Marriott staff, and the U.S. Consular Agency.
The effort included equipping drivers with instructions, getting the toys uncrated and ready for Monday's delivery, and sharing stories of past outings. Organizers, sponsors, and volunteers had worked all year long for this special moment.
Toys for Tots raised over $400,000 pesos during the tough economic times of 2010, all for the children. With its successful Annual Golf Tournament (more players than last year), a Gala Dinner Dance with fabulous silent auction (more attendees and bidders than last year) and very special corporate, supplier and personal donations, Toys for Tots showed once again that Vallarta cares, shares and brings hope to the next generation. Every peso raised was used to purchase toys... no overhead, no salaries... just the kids, thanks to the generosity of everyone involved.
In its 12th year locally and 63 years as a multinational program, Toys for Tots brings the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children. A simple gift offers a child hope, self-esteem, recognition and a positive memory that will be cherished for a lifetime, assisting them in becoming responsible, productive citizens.
The Navy League of Puerto Vallarta endeavors to unite members of local communities in a common cause each year, Toys for Tots, in the development of this most valuable resource…our children, so that we may have better communities in the future.
Special thanks go to Casa Magna Marriott, Vista Vallarta Club de Golf, Armada de Mexico, Toyota Puerto Vallarta, TaylorMade-Adidas, Rivercity ATM, Vallarta Adventures and countless other merchants, restaurants, galleries, artists, and volunteers who helped make 7,000 smiles and hope come alive. The children are our future.
The Puerto Vallarta Navy League provides an opportunity to socialize as well as "give back" to our local community. For more information, visit VallartaNavyLeague.org, or send an email to clarkbill(at)earthlink.net.