There’s nothing like quite watching a child’s face light up on Christmas morning. But this year, millions of economically disadvantaged children could wake up to find no gifts under the tree.
That’s where programs like Toys for Tots step in to help.
Founded in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Major Bill Hendricks, Toys for Tots makes the holidays a little bit brighter for deserving kids across the country. Run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, the program teams up with partners like the Salvation Army to collect and distribute toys to children who may not otherwise receive one.
Street Bikers United (SBU) Maui Chapter supports the Toys for Tots program every year by rounding up thousands of unwrapped toys—everything from Barbies to board games to baseball gloves—for kids of all ages. The gifts are handed off to the Salvation Army, which then delivers them to families registered for the Toys for Tots program throughout Maui County.
And this year, a group of Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) members will help the SBU Maui Chapter make Christmas wishes come true.
On Thursday, Dec. 12, the Maui Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host a pau hana toy drive from 5 to 7 p.m. at Maui Brewing Company in Kihei. You don’t have to be a YPN or RAM member to attend: Just bring a new, unwrapped gift for a child of any age—from infants to toddlers to tweens and teens—or cash donation. All of the items collected that evening will be delivered to the SBU Maui Chapter. “We hope to put a lot of smiles on little kids’ faces,” said Sara Fox of Keller Williams Realty Maui, who serves as YPN’s chairperson.
YPN is comprised of RAM members from various brokerage firms, as well as affiliate members. Although YPN stands for “Young Professionals Network,” it also welcomes members whoare new to the business of real estate.
Among other things, YPN gives its members the tools and encouragement they need to pursue leadership roles within their local, state, and national Realtors associations; stay on top of industry news and trends; take an active role in policy discussions and advocacy issues; and give back to their community by volunteering for causes they feel passionately about.
SBU Maui Chapter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to protect and advance the interests of all motorcyclists in the political process, while making a positive difference in the community. It may be best known for its annual toy run and parade, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 14. That morning, hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts will converge on the makai (oceanside) Azeka Shopping Center in Kihei and ride en masse along a pre-planned route with brand-new toys strapped to their bikes. (The Salvation Army ultimately receives and distributes the toys to registered families.)
And you can help the SBU Maui Chapter get a head start from on Dec. 12. Just bring an unwrapped gift or cash donation to Maui Brewing Company and stick around for a cold beer. Your donation will bring holiday cheer to a child in need—and bring new meaning to the term “happy hour.”
Maui Brewing Company is located at 605 Lipoa Parkway in Kihei. To learn more about this year’s SBU United Maui Chapter toy run and parade or to make an online donation, visit www.mauitoys4tots.org or contact Jackie at 359-1617.
The Maui News – December 2, 2019