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Santa Cause 2020: Toys for Joy

This year’s holiday season was in danger of being canceled as many families struggled to cope with the pandemic fallout and restrictions.  Many families faced food insecurity, inability to pay rent, utilities, or phone bills and wondered if they would be able to put a new toy under the Christmas tree for their children.  AUHS Foundation received calls from social services agencies and LBUSD schools inquiring if we were holding our annual Santa Cause Toys for Joy drive.  In the spirit of giving, on December 18, 2020, AUHS Foundation held its 11th annual Santa Cause Toys for Joy giveaway for underserved and underprivileged children, ages 11 and younger.  Four hundred children from the cities of Signal Hill and Long Beach attended the event.  It was an exciting day because children were able to pose for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but with social distancing and masking guidelines.  Kids were treated to to-go snack bags donated by One Community, a non-profit based in Orange County helping feed people in need.  Each family that received toys were given an Acts of Love grocery bag filled with pantry stable groceries: 5 pounds of rice, a pack of spaghetti pasta, 2 cans of tomato sauce, 3 pounds of apples, 10 pounds of potatoes, a box of mac & cheese, 4 cans of tuna, and 2 cans of corn.  In all, 150 families were given Acts of Love grocery assistance.  Toys and groceries were purchased by AUHS Foundation through generous funds donation from our supporters, and potatoes and apples were donated by Superior Grocers.  Although the event began at 2:30 PM, attendees and their children began to line up a few hours prior.  Plenty of toys were sorted and laid out on the tables and the parking lot was decked with festive décor by American University of Health Sciences staff, nursing and pharmacy students, and community volunteers.  AUHS Foundation is grateful that God has kept us safe and healthy this year so we can continue to share Christ’s message of hope and everlasting love as we spread joy during the holiday.  With the New Year quickly making its entrance, the AUHS Foundation wishes and prays for the community to have a refreshingly wonderful start to 2021.

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