Nonprofit organizes holiday event for Osceola kids below poverty line

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 07, 2017, 6:04 PM EST

Christmas is a time for sharing, joy and giving, and an Osceola County nonprofit is following all three by reaching out to homeless families and providing a gift this holiday season.

  • Event lets impoverished Osceola kids celebrate holidays
  • Event expected to grow because of displaced Puerto Rican kids
  • Christmas for the Kids happening on Saturday

On Thursday morning, volunteers tackled a warehouse filled with about 5,000 toys by sorting and organizing them.

This is an event in which children deemed below the poverty line within the school district, receive presents for the holidays.

Those lending a hand said Christmas for the Kids Osceola is a one of a kind event.

“I can’t have a Christmas before we have this event,” said Ben Robles.

Robles who owns Robles Realty International has been a part of this event for five years.

But this year, it’s expected to be bigger than ever. With the influx of students coming from Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria, they're expecting the numbers of students in need to double.

In fact, the Osceola County School District has received 2,000 displaced students in the past two and a half months.

“It’s just so heartwarming and at the end of the day … I know we have done good. It’s a good will. You just spread good will,” said Leslie Campbell, the Director of Special Programs for the School District.

“So many participants and partners in the community come together and do this for us. I just love it. It's just the best event of the year.”

Elementary kids are given toys, while middle and high school students receive gift cards. During the event there will be music, food, face painting and cookie decorating among other things.

Nonetheless these volunteers said it’s all about coming together for those who need it most.

“… to show them that we are not only obsessed, but we are committed to the process,” Robles said. “And to also allow them the opportunity to have a great and enjoyable holidays on behalf of Christmas for the kids Osceola.”

Christmas for the Kids Osceola is happening on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Osceola School of the Arts.

You can make donations until Friday at the Ross E. Jeffries Parent Center or by clicking here.