Toy Shortages Feared to Impact Holiday Gift Drive for Neediest Children Locally

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GL Homes & Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County launch a holiday gift drive to provide toys to the area’s neediest children while tackling economic and toy shortage issues

West Palm Beach, Fla.- With the help of title sponsor GL Homes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County launched an ambitious holiday gift drive to collect toys and teen-appropriate gifts for Club members at 17 Boys & Girls Clubs across the county. The gift drive launched November 1, will run until December 10 to allow for gifts to be collected and distributed in time for each Club to host a traditional holiday party. The festive and memorable Club parties will be the highlight of the holiday season for most members, and for some of the children, it will be their only chance to receive a gift this season.

“As the recovery from the pandemic continues, it’s important to hold onto our traditions and help the children that need us most,” said Sarah Alsofrom, GL Homes senior director of community relations. “GL Homes is proud to be the title sponsor of the holiday gift drive for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County because our goal is to allow all children to celebrate this magical time of the year. After a year of sacrifices, we hope all children can focus on the joy of childhood and enjoy the festivities.”

Without the community’s generosity in donating new and unwrapped gifts, the holidays would not be as bright for most Club children. Currently, 95% of Club members live at or below the federal poverty level and depend on the Clubs for extra assistance. Many of the neighborhoods where Clubs are strategically located to provide the biggest impact have not rebounded quickly from the economic problems created by the pandemic.

“Our Clubs provide food, extra academic support and even mental health counseling for families that continue to struggle. Thanks to community partners like GL Homes, we will also make sure that the holidays are not a disappointment for the neediest children in our area,” said President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda. “This is a special time of the year for our Club members and it is a time that I’m personally overwhelmed with gratitude as the community rallies around our Club children to make sure they have an enjoyable holiday like all children deserve.”

This year the GL Homes and Boys & Girls Club Holiday Gift Drive will have dozens of in-person drop-off sites thanks to community partners. Gift givers can also choose to participate virtually by visiting the Clubs’ online wish list and purchasing items that will be shipped directly to the Clubs. For a list of drop-off sites and the online wish list, visit www.BGCPBC.org/HolidayGiftDrive.

Adding to the challenges to this year’s holiday gift drive is a predicted nationwide shortage of toys due to widespread supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.  Those considering donating a gift are requested to make their donation early.  National retailers already expect shortages and recommend that gift buying be done before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

“While creating the Club’s online wish list, we’ve already experienced significant shortages and backorders of popular toys. Daily we update our online wish list to account for items that are no longer in stock,” said Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Marketing of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Eric Roby. “Traditionally, most donations are made during the tail end of our drive, and our concern will be the lack of available toys if donors are not able to give earlier this year.”

“I have full confidence that with the support of GL Homes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County will be able to meet the goal of providing a new gift for each Club member across the county. With the support of our community, we will overcome any challenges and make sure that all children have a happy and memorable holiday,” said Alsofrom.