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December 21, 2021

Advertise Purple Toy Drive Delivers Hundreds of Toys for Kids in Need

After two years of Zoom cocktail hours and Gmeet hangouts, the team at Advertise Purple finally had to put on real pants. That’s right, our holiday bash is officially back and between the Kogi taco truck and photo booth, we’ve never been happier to set foot in our offices, some of us for the first time since the pandemic hit.

But this year, we wanted to make our party about more than catching up with co-workers and wearing ugly holiday sweaters. That’s why Advertise Purple decided to team up with the Zawadi Cultural Collective to lead a toy drive for children in the Los Angeles area. Every guest who attended the party was asked to bring at least one toy for the drive and our team collectively donated over 300 gifts for kids in need.

Zawadi is a San Fernando Valley-based group that sponsors food drives, youth leadership initiatives and even a girl scout troop for young women of color. Through their various initiatives, the Collective is able to help hundreds of people every year, and the entire organization is run by a team of just four volunteers.

We spoke with Shania Accius, one of the founding members of the Collective, to learn more about how they strive to help the children of Los Angeles.

Q: Why are toy drives an important way to help people during the holidays?

SA: Because everybody needs help. Everybody needs joy. Everybody needs love. And when we give out these toys, it means a lot to these kids. It means a lot to that single mom that is able to give something to her kid that year. It means a lot to the older kids too, because we get the toys, but then we also think about the older kids who never get anything at these type of events. So we’re going to get them gift cards, and things that they want because even though they’re older, they’re still kids.

Q: How do you find the kids that need the gifts?

SA: Well, we create fliers and we send it out to our community and we reach out to the schools in the area and we just let them know what we’re doing. And then at the give-away Santa is there actually sitting in his chair handing out gifts and the kids love that.

Q: Why does Zawadi focus on helping people in the San Fernando Valley?

SA:  I think a lot of times people think that ‘Oh, they’re in the valley, everybody has all this money.’ That’s where the rich people go to live.’ But that’s not the case. There are lots of families in need right here but we often don’t get the support and the funding that we need to support everyone who is struggling right here.

Zawadi is a Swahili word that means ‘gift’. And it is a true gift to have the opportunity to work with groups like the Zawadi Cultural Collective and to deliver so much holiday joy to children in need.

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