Jacksonville non-profit makes toys to over 100 households with youngsters

Dreams come true, like other nonprofits, have had a difficult year. Nevertheless, the organization managed to bring Christmas joy to more than 100 families.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite an incredibly difficult fiscal year for so many families and businesses, a Jacksonville nonprofit has brought Christmas joy to hundreds of children with life-threatening diseases.

Every year Dreams Come True, a local organization focused on fulfilling the dreams of children with illnesses living or being treated on the First Coast, hosts their annual Holiday Adoption Program and Toy Drive.

During its year-round mission, Dreams Come True works with the kids and their families to make a dream come true, such as going to Disney World or meeting a celebrity they admire.

“As long as they live or receive treatment here on the First Coast, their doctor can refer them to us and we can help them achieve a dream,” said Andrea Siracusa, Director of Community Relations.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Siracusa said the organization must put the dreams of around 70 children on hold.

“Unfortunately, it’s just unsafe to send any of our children anywhere, especially our most popular dream, Orlando, and all theme parks,” she said.

Siracusa said she and other staff at the organization were initially concerned about how well their annual vacation programs would fare.

“I’m honest when we went into this year we were very concerned that we would not get a good response,” she said. “We just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

With the support of the community, the non-profit association was able to bring in more than 3,000 toys and gifts, with 320 children (both the “dreamers” and their siblings) enjoying the joy of Christmas.

“We were just shocked to see the love and support that came out,” said Siracusa. “I don’t know how many families I told myself that there would be no Christmas this year. They accepted that it wouldn’t be Christmas. And they got a call from us saying we had it.” Someone who can help us make Christmas possible. Only with the support of the First Coast. “

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