Volunteers from Health First, South Brevard Sharing Center purchase nearly 400 gifts for children in need
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Health First partnered with the South Brevard Sharing Center to help fulfill holiday wish lists for Brevard County kids and teens, who would otherwise not wake up to presents under their trees.
Fifty volunteer shoppers from the Brevard community helped purchase nearly 400 gifts on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Melbourne Toys- R- Us.
Through the Health First Community Benefits Program, Health First associates and volunteers from the Sharing Center shopped at the Toys-R-Us in Melbourne to purchase gifts for the "Children Without Christmas Toy Drive."
"The most important thing about this event is the community is coming together to help children in need," said Steve Johnson, Health First president and CEO. "Health First is pleased to be able to do our part to help bring smiles to the faces of children and teens in our community, who need it the most."
Mr. Johnson said that more than 600 children and teenagers signed up to receive gifts through the Sharing Center's "Children Without Christmas Toy Drive."
Gifts purchased inlcuded scooters, dollhouses, games, action figures and remote control trucks.
Items were loaded onto the Sharing Center's truck and will be delivered to the children before Christmas Day.
Mr. Johnsons said that Health First took part in this charitable drive to continue to improve the health and well-being of those it serves.
"We recognized that there was a need to help children this holiday season," he said. "When we learned of this major need in our community, we reached out to the South Brevard County Sharing Center to see how we could help."
Mr. Johnson said that the center provided Health First and other volunteers with specific items children asked for this season.
"We were able to purchase more than 350 gifts to help," he said. "Our Health First Community Benefits Program partners with several nonprofit agencies year-round, and this is just one example of our efforts."
In 2012, Mr. Johnson said that Health First's support of our community totaled more than $118 million.
"Health First strongly believes in giving back to our community," he said. "Seeing all of the toys being loaded into the truck was quite moving, knowing how much this will impact the people, who receive them. Helping to ensure others have a joyful holiday season is something Health First feels passionate about."