Approaching the end of an extremely difficult year one thing was very clear. Like many places all over the world, the Yuma community had been devastated by the pandemic. While there was seemingly light at the end of the tunnel, it was obvious the negative impact was still front and center.
Christmas time has always been the time of year we all look forward to. Kids especially plan all year to behave and pencil up a list for Santa hoping he will overlook their imperfections and bring them an extra special bag of gifts under the tree. It’s their happy fantasy that parents and family members can’t wait to fulfill. It is one of the most wholesome parts of life.
Unfortunately, there are far too many kids in our community that will not receive the illustrious visit. It isn’t because they were terrible. It isn’t because their parents hate them. It isn’t because the deserve to be skipped. Hard times are real.
In late November we met with (the staff) from Wheezy’s. The topic came up and we shared our sympathy for these types of situations. We discussed the Christmas season, the good weather, the beautiful lights, the fake snow on the Yuma lawns. We discussed our childhood memories of receiving gifts and the impact it had. A mutually loved time of year to say the least.
Then something happened.
We realized we had just been casually discussing a well-known issue within the community.
We realized we had opportunity. Maybe even a calling.
We realized we both have a network of Yumans that we can call on to help.
So we discussed it. How can we help? How can we motivate people to pitch in? How could we make a difference?
Well, it just so happened that YTT is in the competition business. Going head-to-head, fight style is one of the largest, fastest growing pass times in the world.
At that moment, “Battle for the Toys” was born.
We created a friendly competition between Wheezy’s and Yuma Top Team. A competition to see who could get the most toys donated. Winner gets THE BELT!
The community rallied behind the cause. The media, newspaper, social media, friends and family tuned in to donate and see who could win.
All said and done we raised almost 600 toys! All of which were delivered to Toys for Tots for distribution where they were needed the most.
We considered this a great success. It was our first collaboration to solve this unfortunate problem and so many people contributed!
We were blown away.
So Fast forward-
As we sat together again, now good friends, the topic comes up about “Battle for the Toys” 2021. We discuss ideas and strategy on how we can increase the donations this year. All is good, and we KNOW we will beat last year.
Is once a year good enough for us? To only give back to our great community ONE time a year?
The answer was a definitive NO!
So where else?
Well, School is going to start in August.
The conversation leads down the road of back-to-school shopping as a kid. Going in to the store to get that fresh back-pack. The new pack of #2 pencils and don’t forget that fashionable pencil top eraser. Merge into isle 6 and pick up more reams of paper than you could use in 4 life times- just in case.
Back to school shopping was the Christmas of summer for a lot of us. It was the clean slate, the refreshed and confident boost you needed to attend that day one of the new school year. For those of us fortunate enough anyway.
Kids going to school properly equipped to get their education is essential to their success, right?
So… you guessed it, at that moment the “Back to School Battle” was born.
The competition to see who can get the most school supplies…. For the Belt.
Now through July 26th we will be collecting school supply donations at both Wheezy's and Yuma Top Team. Anything relevant for students will be accepted. We will not be collecting any monetary donations. On July 26th we will hold the official count in the cage at Yuma Top Team, winner takes the belt! So choose your preferred location and donate today!
When you make a donation (at either location) you will receive a raffle ticket to enter a teacher of your choice for the grand prize gift basket including gear, gifts and gift certificates! We will draw the winner on July 26th!