Local Non-Profit Concerned After Toy Donations Decrease for Annual Christmas Drive

Central Union Mission



Contact: Deborah Chambers

VP, Development and Partnerships
Cell: 202-534-9965

Local Non-Profit Concerned After Toy Donations Decrease for Annual Christmas Drive

Washington, DC—November 29, 2022—Central Union Mission is currently seeking toy donations for their annual Operation Christmas Miracle giveaway. This toy drive supports children in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, whose families are homeless or living below the poverty line and find it difficult to make ends meet during this time of year. Americans across the country have felt the impact of inflation, but parents, grandparents and heads-of-households have found it especially tough to supply the bare necessities for their families, let alone grant the wishes of their children for the Christmas holiday. For those who live on a fixed income, the added responsibility of buying gifts this time of year feels impossible.

This year’s program is in jeopardy of not meeting the needs of the 1500 need-based families who registered for gifts this year. “I can’t think of anything more heartbreaking than to imagine a young child waking up to nothing under the tree on Christmas morning,” said Central Union Mission President & CEO Joe Mettimano. “We still have 1000 children to get sponsored and I believe the country’s economy, inflation and the lagging recovery from COVID-19, all play into the shortfall.”

Giving Christmas gifts to children in need is a Central Union Mission tradition that dates back to 1925 with First Lady Grace Coolidge. Each year, with the support of our community and generous donors, nearly 1,500 deserving children are able to celebrate the holiday with gifts under the tree.

Said one Mom who asked to remain anonymous, “It was either purchase Christmas gifts for my babies or pay the rent. Of course I had to pay my rent, but I had to figure out a way to get them something. Even if I couldn’t get them everything on their list, I wanted them to have something. My neighbor told me about Central Union Mission’s Operation Christmas Miracle, and it was such a blessing. My kids were able to get toys and clothes and I was so relieved.”

President & CEO, Joe Mettimano said, “Operation Christmas Miracle is a source of joy and hope for our community. Children are excited and families are able to feel the kindness and generosity of others that renews their faith in humanity, but I’m concerned about this year’s distribution. We have a long way to go, and we don’t want any child to go without on Christmas morning.”

Gifts for children can be dropped off at the Comprehensive Family Resource Center located at 3194-B Bladensburg Rd., NE, Washington, DC 20018 from 9:00 am- 3:30 pm through December 14. A suggested gift list is available on our website for those in need of gift ideas. The big distribution is scheduled to take place December 17 to the 20, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm each day. In addition to gifts, families will receive groceries too.

Interviews with Mission staff and families in need available upon request.

About Central Union Mission:
Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the oldest private social service agency in Washington, DC. In addition to its emergency shelter, which provides more than 60,000 bed-nights each year, the Mission operates holistic, Christ-centered transformation and workforce development programs for men, provides benefits for veterans, helps people overcome addictions, operates a food and clothing distribution center which provides food for over 4,000 people each month, runs a camp for underprivileged children, and offers a ministry to families and senior citizens. Charity Navigator has rated Central Union Mission a three-star charity, Candid awarded Central Union Mission a Gold Seal for our financial transparency and GreatNonProfits has given Central Union Mission a Top-Rated award.

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