Thursday, April 18, 2024

Living Word Church’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive receives $100,000 donation


Every year, the Living Word Church (LWC) holds a fundraising drive with the intent to provide families and children with gifts and groceries for the holiday season. The sad reality is that many families are in need during what is supposed to be the most joyous time of year. Driven to help island residents and children, San Pedro’s Caye Bank Chairman and former ambassador Joel Nagel made an incredible donation of $100,000 to the church to aid in their efforts. The total amount came via generous donations from clients, shareholders and friends of Caye Bank and ECI Development, all who want to ensure this initiative continues to deliver Christmas cheer to the children of Ambergris Caye.

Volunteers prepping toys for the Toy Drive to be held on December 23rd.

LWC Pastor Ian Zaldivar is incredibly humbled by the generosity “Year after year, Joel has ensured that our goals are met, and even exceeded!” With this particular donation, Pastor Zaldivar foresees the donation of 150 hefty food baskets, 500 small toys during the Christmas Caroling on December 22nd, and 1,200 quality toys during the Toy Outreach on December 23rd.

Having grown up without much, Nagel understands the simple joys that a present brings during the holidays. “For a long time, I have made it my personal mission to embrace community and connect through the church. It’s always an honor to be able to contribute to the annual toy drive and be able to witness the genuine impact it has to so many lives.” Joel Nagel commented, “We looks forward to it every year.”

Equally happy to help in this incredible venture is Michael Cobb, CEO of ECI Development. The company strongly believes in Community Social Responsibility, and to be able to participate in this annual event is so rewarding to all involved.

While Pastor Zaldivar’s initial efforts were less abundant, he never gave up on his dream of bringing joy to the community he lives and ministers in. In 2010, a chance meeting with Joel Nagel catapulted those dreams to their current magnitude. Far from the small, cheap toys of the first years, children can now count on a quality toy that will bring joy for a long time. 150 families will be able to receive generous food baskets that will provide sustenance beyond the holidays.

Pastor Zaldivar looks forward to ministering to the community during the holidays. “Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas. With every gift given, we glorify Him alone. For Jesus is the only reason for the season.”

The toys and food baskets will be handed out on Friday, December 23rd, and as is tradition, each child will also receive a cupcake and drink.

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