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GLIDE’s Toy Bag Giveaway delivers 2,400 toys to children across the Tenderloin

Toys fill up the Sanctuary pews.

The winter holiday season means sharing quality time with friends, handing out gifts, singing songs of joy, and lighting candles.  It also means collecting, packing, and putting approximately 2,400 toys into nearly 400 bags for distribution to underprivileged children throughout the Tenderloin!

Every year, GLIDE puts out the call for toys and gifts for those families facing difficult times. And each time, you deliver! Thanks to the volunteers, our board of directors, corporate donors, and to the more than 1,000 of you who purchased a toy off our Amazon toy-drive registry, we managed to fill our Sanctuary pews with gifts galore.

criquette toy bag giveaway 2023

GLIDE Board member Crickett Brown Glad volunteers to package toys.

Of course, funding the operations of a Toy Bag Giveaway does not come for free. Our Board of Directors stepped in when it needed to and thanks to a personal donation by Board Member Crickett Brown Glad, we could get these toys to the children in need.

“This is such a wonderful event because we’re making a difference in so many children’s lives,” said Crickett. “Serving 500+ kids here in the Tenderloin, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to give of your heart and give a little bit of your pocketbook.”

gina, toy, 2023, giveaway

GLIDE President & CEO, Dr. Gina Fromer

For GLIDE’s new President & CEO, Dr. Gina Fromer, our Toy Bag-Giveaway embodies the spirit of giving forward. “I almost came to tears when I saw the amazing love shared by our community to the thousands of families we serve,” said Gina. “I remember getting toys at Christmas for my kids and the way it made me feel as a mother. The outpouring of Glide’s spirit is infectious. We wish all families a happy holiday season.”

GLIDE’s Toy Bag Giveaway made 2,400 toys available to kids across the Tenderloin.

GLIDE Board member and “Mayor of the Tenderloin” Del Seymour volunteered to fill bags. For Del, the necessity of this year’s contribution cannot be understated. “This annual event that GLIDE has been doing takes on even greater importance this time around because of today’s economic situation. We’re seeing an increase in the amount of children in need of gifts, especially due to a rise in immigration of families coming into San Francisco from other countries.”

GLIDE Staff Board member Chris Cimino (on the right) and Jake Pszonowsky fill bags with toys.

Maya, Salesforce, toy, bag, giveaway

Maya, of Salesforce, volunteers to place toys in bags in Glide Memorial Sanctuary.

Glide arranged for volunteers (including a team from Kaiser Permanente) to come in and place toys in the bags seated in the church pews. For Salesforce volunteer Maya, this was a chance to make the end of the year holidays more meaningful while confronting the reality some families face in uncertain times.

“I think what’s special about Glide’s Toy Give Away is the chance to help others, especially around the holidays. I know we all can recognize our own privilege and I think it’s a real nice thing to be able to give back to the community, and make sure that as many families as possible feel supported and appreciated,” said Maya. “Every kid just wants to wake up with presents during the holidays. I’m glad to be able to help facilitate that experience.”

Salesforce volunteer team packages toys inside Glide Memorial Sanctuary.

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