Posted December 15, 2020
Fatima Family Center will give the gift of joy this holiday season to hundreds of individuals in need in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, thanks in large part to a generous donation from Morgan Stanley.
The investment bank and financial services company donated $20,000 to Catholic Charities' Fatima Family Center to help purchase children’s gifts for Toyland Joyland, the center’s annual holiday toy drive.
"This [donation] is especially helpful because so many of our schools and churches that have traditionally supported us are not open," said LaJean Ray, the center’s director. "In addition, we know the need is even greater this year because so many people are unemployed."
In previous years, Fatima's gymnasium would overflow with gifts donated by local parishes, schools and universities. Parents served by Fatima, as well as those from other nearby community agencies, would select gifts for their children, while a team of nearly 35 volunteers wrapped each families' gifts.
This year due to COVID-19 safety protocols, Fatima could not accept the same amount of donations as it did in the past. The center purchased gifts directly from stores, and families made wish lists instead of visiting Fatima. Staff packed gifts into boxes, which will be placed into individuals’ vehicles for contactless delivery.
Despite all of the changes, the pandemic has not negatively impacted this year’s event—in fact, because of Morgan Stanley's generous donation, this year Toyland Joyland will serve 300 individuals, including 80 seniors.
"We absolutely would not have been able to serve the volume we have or had the quality of gifts we do [without this donation]," said Ray.
Among the gifts that Fatima purchased with the donation funds were dolls, basketballs, bicycles, books, educational games, craft kits, coats, clothes, toiletries and gift cards.
"We have never been able to provide such nice items and never had the luxury of getting so many bikes, clothing and other things to make Christmas so special for so many children and our seniors as well," said Ray.
Other 2020 Toyland Joyland sponors include John Carroll University, Gilmour Academy, Holy Angels, Sherwin Williams, St. Marks, Knights of Columbus and the Ohio Retired Teachers Organization.