Over 300 children have already received their gifts from Karidat, with a few more needing to be picked up by families who registered for the annual Christmas Toy Drive by the social services group.
Karidat executive director Lauri Ogumoro said they have been calling all the families who registered for their yearly project to inform them that the donated toys are now wrapped and ready for their kids to enjoy and play with.
“We’re almost all out of toys and we have already given out more than 300. We’re just finishing up and giving away some more toys that was donated. There are still a few more toys left [yesterday],” said Ogumoro.
“We’ve been calling the families who registered that their gift is ready to be picked up here at out office in Chalan Piao up to [today],” she added.
The toys came from various groups, organizations, businesses, individuals, and other private donors that wanted to cheer hundreds of kids, especially after the devastation brought by Typhoon Soudelor.
“We gave out wonderful toys, especially to needy families who lost everything after the typhoon. We want their kids to experience the joy of receiving a gift this Christmas,” Ogumoro said.
Karidat staff member Elaine Dela Cruz said that Karidat has been giving away toys to kids throughout the years. “They are donated by generous people. This has been Karidat’s project for many years.”
Ogumoro said that Karidat is thankful to all the groups and individuals that donated the toys. Each child received one toy.
“We received a wonderful support from the community. For that, we’re really thankful to all who became part of this project,” she added.
“There were a lot who donated the toys and it would be hard to mention all of them, so a big thank you to all.”
The Saipan Young Professionals, McDonald’s, Matua Riders, the Northern Marianas College counseling program, and Hyatt Regency Saipan are some of the groups that donated the toys.
Hyatt has been a consistent donor of the Karidat Christmas toy drive and each year a different group makes their donation.
The U.S. Marine Corps started the Toys for Tots project and was continued by Karidat.