Louisiana We Are Strong hosts Christmas toy drive

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 2021

RESERVE — Relief group “Louisiana We Are Strong” wants every child to have a smile on their face this Christmas, no matter what challenges their families are facing with Hurricane Ida recovery.
A Gift of Giving Toy Drive will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 19 at REGALA Park in Reserve. This event will feature more than 700 toys, a gift card giveaway for teens, a bike raffle for boys and girls, and a special appearance from Santa Claus.
The giveaway will be first come, first served as long as supplies last, and children must be present.
Organizer Jameika Snyder said the Toy Drive will include food provided by Branden August and St. John Bail Bondsman Brandon Collins. Clothing and shoes will be given away on-site, in addition to miscellaneous items donated by members of the Mt. Airy community.
Since September, Louisiana We Are Strong has held several relief events to feed and clothe Hurricane Ida survivors in St. John the Baptist Parish and on the North Shore. The group has grown from 16 volunteers to nearly 30.
“The toy drive is something I have wanted to do since the first relief event,” Snyder said. “Our main focus is the kids that were affected by Ida. Christmas is a difficult time with high emotions for the parents. Each child deserves to get a toy. We will have other stuff, such as clothing, shoes, miscellaneous stuff they will be able to pick up while they are there.”
Snyder paid for many of the toys out of pocket. Other donations came from residents and companies in surrounding areas, as well as the Louisiana We Are Strong volunteers, many of whom are still displaced from their homes.
“They are going through the same situation, but they are still pulling together and offering help to make this toy giveaway successful. They are being very supportive through tough times,” Snyder said.
Snyder is in the process of making Louisiana We Are Strong a nonprofit to continue providing aid to the community. For more information about Sunday’s toy drive, please call Snyder at 504-452-9901.