12th Annual Analeh Holiday Toy Drive Set for December 4/5 in Hartford; Drive-Thru Donations to be Collected for Second Straight Year
The enormously popular and successful Analeh Holiday Toy Drive, which has become a much-anticipated holiday tradition for families and children in Hartford and far beyond, will be back for a 12th edition Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5. And organizers are saying this year’s drive may be their most important ever as the soaring cost of living puts holiday gift-giving at risk for countless numbers of struggling families.
This year’s event, the second straight to be conducted in drive-thru fashion due to ongoing COVID-19 considerations, will again take place at the Hispanic Health Council in Downtown Hartford. Organizers are hoping for a major boost in giving this year with families in need having difficulty making ends meet.
“There is nothing sadder than a disappointed child,” said Toy Drive Planning Committee Member Ana Alfaro, who founded the Toy Drive 12 years ago. “With sky-rocketing prices for food and other essentials making gift-giving for families in need next to impossible, this year’s toy collection is more important than ever to ensure smiles on the faces of so many deserving children.”
Those wishing to support the Toy Drive with a new, unwrapped toy for children ages 5-12 (or a gift card for teenagers) may bring their gifts from 12 to 4 p.m. either day to the Hispanic Health Council’s Drive-Thru Toy Collection Site, 175 Main Street, Hartford. Monetary donations will be accepted, as well, and supporters may donate online in advance through the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut at https://app.mobilecause.com/form/S7XD3A?vid=n0ank. Donors may also text TOYDRIVE21 to 41444 to access the site on a mobile device. If donors are unable to deliver their donations on December 4 or 5, they may drop them off in advance during regular Hispanic Health Council business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mask wearing for visitors is required.
The Toy Drive is organized annually by the team behind El Show de Analeh, the popular regional Latinx variety television program which airs every Saturday at 11 a.m. on Univision and UniMas Channel 18. In its first 11 years, the drive has provided toys or gift cards to more than 2,000 Connecticut and Western Massachusetts children and teens served by 32 regional non-profit agencies.
A limited, rotating group of these regional agencies is selected each year to work with Toy Drive personnel to identify recipients and ensure toys and gifts reach those most in need. This year’s agency recipients areCommunity Renewal Team, Hartford;Prudence Crandall Center, New Britain;Family Strides, Torrington;Windham Regional Community Council, Willimantic; andSquare One, Springfield.
The annual Toy Drive is traditionally a major in-person extravaganza featuring music, entertainment and presentations at Hartford Hospital’s Education & Resource Center. COVID changed the formula, at least temporarily, last year. This year’s drive-thru event, however, will still feature guests and entertainment on-site and on Facebook Live. On Saturday December 4, Santa Claus will be on hand from 2-3:30 p.m. with musical entertainment provided by theMariachi Corozon de Oro Youth Group. On Sunday December 5, Santa will once again be on hand from 2-3:30 p.m. with music provided byCarlos Boltes.
To view the live stream either day, visitEl Show de Analeh’sFacebook page (@ShowAnaleh).
Now in its 16th year, El Show de Analeh is the premier Latinx variety television program serving the Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Latino market. The show, produced at Capital Community College, Hartford, features an upbeat variety of programming highlighting people in the news, education, healthy living, finance, business, arts/culture, real life issues and human-interest stories. Sponsors and supporters include AARP; Capital Community College;CHFA; CSEA/SEIU Local 760 2001; Hartford Adult Education;Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Hartford Hospital; Hispanic Health Council; Somos Green Initiatives; Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA);United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut; United Healthcare and Univision.
More information about the Toy Drive is available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 860-881-6088.