Young boy with Santa
December 15, 2023

Spreading Joy: 185 Toys Donated to Zawadi Cultural Collective

We wrapped up our 2023 philanthropic endeavors on a festive note by donating toys to the Zawadi Cultural Collective. For our third year in a row participating in this event, we gave a grand total of 185 toys! The gifts were distributed to kids aged 3 to 18 years old at Zawadi’s annual Kwanzaa Marketplace celebration, where Santa Claus himself handed them out, while also posing for photos and granting wishes. The event also featured over 50 local vendors, food trucks, and entertainment like singing, dancing, and a fashion show.

Zawadi Cultural Collective is a non-profit dedicated to empowering and motivating young individuals and their families in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. They achieve this mission through culturally rooted programs and community-led initiatives. The organization was founded in 2017 by Shania Accius, who among being CEO of Zawadi Cultural Collective is also the creator and administrator of Black In The Valley, which she started in 2020. Keith Paschall, CFO of Zawadi, is a television and film producer who uses his managerial and accounting skills to oversee all of the organization’s projects.

Throughout the year, Zawadi Cultural Collective offers a variety of events, often in collaboration with Black In The Valley. Initiatives include weekly food distribution to provide quality food to underserved communities at no cost, a quarterly Black In The Valley Marketplace featuring local small businesses, and celebrations for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Juneteenth. 

Other programs focusing on youth are Zawadi Scouts, a troop specifically for girls of color designed to develop self-awareness and promote positive role models for young girls; Zawadi Leadership Initiative, a program lead by prominent adults in the community to give boys and girls of color tools to become productive leaders in society; and Kidpreneur Business Academy, a six-week program that fosters creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Witnessing the impact of our collective efforts is not just fulfilling, but proof to the power of incorporating philanthropy in the workplace. As we conclude our philanthropic endeavors for 2023, we are excited to continue this journey of giving and making differences in our community in the new year.

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