KAFPA and SCCAOR Members with some of the donated items from the Toy & Pajama Drive: Denise Marchu (KAFPA Executive Director), Christina Atkinson (KAFPA Program Specialist), Susan Steele (KAFPA Foster/Adoptive Family Advocate), Cassandra Guzman(KAFPA Program assistant), and Hilda Ramirez (SCCAOR Director of PR, Education & Events).
The weather called for heavy wind and rain, but members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) were determined to bring joy to local foster children this Christmas. More than 200 Local REALTORS® came together last Thursday and raised over $16,000 in cash, toy, and pajama donations for local foster teens.
SCCAOR Members weathered the torrential downpours and winter temperatures to bring both their donations and their holiday cheer to their Annual Membership Appreciation Mixer and Gifts for Teens Drive. All donations and money raised during the event went to KAFPA, the Kinship, Adoptive and Foster Parent Association, a nonprofit that provides resources and advocates for the needs of foster and adoptive Families in Santa Clara County. This year’s donation drive placed emphasis on teens, a segment of the population often overlooked during the “Season of Giving.”
Trisha Motter, President of SCCAOR, said that this year’s event was a team effort.
“So many dedicated people and groups came together to make this year’s toy drive a huge success,” said Motter. “We felt that it was important to focus on gifts for teens, as they are often the ‘forgotten group’ when it comes to holiday giving.”
The event was attended by real estate agents from all over Santa Clara County. Each attendee brought some type of donation, some individuals electing to fill bags and even boxes full toys to donate to KAFPA.
Kelly Hunt, a REALTOR® for CSR Real Estate Services, has been actively participating in the event for the last ten years. She spends the month before the event gathering donations from friends and colleagues. This year she collected a total of 405 toys and pajamas, and $1300 in cash and gift cards.
“My volunteer work over the years has been primarily focused on helping children, since they don’t always have the ability to control their environment,” said Hunt. “My clients, friends, and colleagues are what really makes the toy drive a success, and I couldn’t do it without them. I’m just the vehicle making it easier to help and to bring everyone together for the benefit of the kids.”
While organizations like KAFPA receive a majority of their donations around the holidays, it is important to keep them in mind year round.
Hunt added, “KAFPA needs donations all year long for basic necessities, so I’m working with the director to find ways to help more throughout the year. The Holiday Toy Drive is just one of many things our real estate community does to give back to the community throughout the year, and I’m always proud to be a part of helping those in need.”
For more information on KAFPA, visit www.kafpa.org.
Learn more about the Santa Clara County REALTORS® Foundation at www.sccrfoundation.org.