Written By Alex Tao
This year was the second year that myself and REACH participated in the UAP Christmas Mall event. For those who don't know what the Christmas Mall is, every year, United Against Poverty, an Orlando-based organization that fights poverty, holds a mall where parents can shop for Christmas presents at an affordable price. This event always happens on the second Saturday of December and requires many volunteers and donations. This is where REACH is involved in the process. REACH officers from different schools collect toys from ASA's, honor societies, and other clubs that they are associated with. These brand new toys are then sold in the mall at either $1, $3, or $5. In addition to supplying toys, REACH officers and volunteers also help out on the day of the event. This year, we were able to have around 50+ volunteers show up and help around the center. One of our main focuses this year was in the recruitment of Spanish speaking volunteers, since many of the families shopping at the mall are of Hispanic origin. We were able to get around 8 volunteers from different schools by contacting Spanish Honor Societies and offering hours for their members if they came to the event. This year, I worked in the parking lot and I can definitely say that it was a lot more smoother than last year. UAP was able to assign families specific time slots, so, this year, there wasn't any congestion in the parking lot. My second shift was working in the grocery program, where I stocked and cleaned the shelves with a couple other volunteers. Overall, the event was a success, and we were even able to finish cleaning up ahead of schedule.
Written by Jiselle Lee
REACH volunteered at United Against Poverty (UAP) Christmas Mall for the second time on Saturday, December 8th, 2018. At this event, I was an in-charge of the grocery market volunteers. It was my first experience as an in-charge, so I learned a lot about my leadership abilities. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I directed the large group of REACH volunteers by separating them into smaller groups, and I managed their workload by assigning them specific jobs to do. Together, we were able to finish cleaning and sorting through all of the shelves in the grocery market in under eight hours, as well as help out some of the customers along the way. This was an exciting experience of self-discovery for me; we achieved such great success from our hard work. The UAP Christmas Mall is a great event to practice taking initiative and team building. Future REACH officers and volunteers should keep an eye out for this event because it is a great opportunity to exercise these fundamental life skills.
If you are interested in United Against Poverty and want to learn more about how you can help their cause, visit their website: https://uporlando.org/get-involved/volunteer/
If you want to volunteer for the REACH in the near future, look out for the volunteer registration sheet for our next event, the 2019 Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival.
Throughout November and December, REACH members collected toy donations from Winter Park, Cypress Creek, University, Lake Nona, Olympia, Freedom, Dr. Philips, and Lake Mary high schools. Together, REACH collected 984 toys and donated them to Harbor House and Frontline Outreach! Visit here for pictures and an article from AsiaTrend!
During this year's toy drive, REACH was able to bless many underprivileged kids. With Cypress Creek High, University High, and Winter Park High all working to get many donations, we collected over four hundred toys!
On December 20, REACH helped Frontline Outreach Youth and Family Center (a premier early childhood education center in Orlando or urban youth) to pass out toys and serve meals to underprivileged children. It was their first time working with Frontline, and they had a great experience. Click here for some pictures of the event, and here for a summary of the event.
REACH of Central Florida again hosted the annual holiday toy drive for the needy children and families at Harbor House of Central Florida, a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. With the support of many community organizations and local high schools, they collected over 400 toys and necessities this year. On December 19th, REACH members traveled to Harbor House to hand out toys to the children and play Christmas music for the families to enjoy. It was heartwarming to see that every child was able to receive a toy they liked that night.
For pictures from AsiaTrend Magazine, visit here.
In the first REACH Toy Drive in December of 2010, we collected toys for needy children through Harbor House here in Central Florida. By partnering with local high schools, we were able to collect over 270 toys! After collecting the toys, twenty REACH members passed out the toys. We are so thankful to have had this opportunity to bring a little joy into someone's life.