Santa’s sled has already arrived at Children’s Safety Village to make 150 special little ones, thanks to a toy drive.
Games and sporting goods, books and art supplies (and yes, even some socks) were among the colorful contributions donated by Market Traders Institute employees. They were given to children with their families alongside them Saturday, Dec. 14, in Orlando.
“Giving back to the community is very important to all of us here, and I’m proud of how hard everyone works to make this special,” said CEO Jacob Martinez.
The big day at Santa’s Village also included lunch for the families and activities for the kids including crafting, time on the playground and more.
Naturally, Santa was the star of the show, with plenty of gifts thanks to numerous partners including MTI, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Pinnacle Property Management Services, Ladybird Academy and others.
“Typically we try to give each child a total of three to four gifts that are age appropriate,” said Mia Bernard, a senior finance specialist who coordinates MTI’s efforts. The children range in age from infants up to 12 years old. Many of the them come from families that have been affected by homelessness, abuse or other difficult situations. MTI employees gathered toys throughout the month of November.
The event, which is in its ninth year, has expanded to serve children in Seminole County as well as Orange, said Carrisa Johns of Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Children’s Safety Village’s year-round mission is to provide education that helps protect youngsters and prevent injuries or deaths. Hands-on exercises including role-playing activities in a “miniature city” with streets and sidewalks, a fire safety house and more. Children’s Safety Village is open to schools, day-care centers and other groups. For more, visit www.childrensafetyvillage.org.
Market Traders Institute gives back to the community numerous times each year. For more, visit www.markettraders.com/community-empowerment. Most recently, MTI’s Trading for Ta-tas event raised $81,791 for AdventHealth for Women. Those efforts help provide breast cancer prevention and treatment.