THE ANNUAL APA HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE
About the APA Toy Drive
The APA Community Holiday Toy Drive & Reception is a non-profit event that strives to provide toys for low income families in the Los Angeles Asian community. Our toy drive is held in December around the holidays, in which guests either donate a toy worth $25 (or more) or pay $25 (or more).
The first Toy Drive and Holiday Reception was on Friday, December 1, 2000, at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), after it had just opened at its new location. APAWLA and SCCLA, together with APABA, HKASC (Hong Kong Association of Southern California), KABA, OCA, and PABA co-sponsored that event. Catering was donated by Panda Express. A raffle was held to benefit the APALC Building Fund. Toys collected were distributed to: APALC clients, APWC, AYC, CPAF, CSC, KYCC, SIPA, and Thai CDC.
Luci Ellen Chun came up with the idea of doing a joint APA bar association holiday toy drive and reception and to invite other community and professional organizations to co-sponsor the event. Diane Tan helped to plan and coordinate the event with Luci and the various co-sponsors. APALC was very generous in hosting this annual event at their offices from 2000 to 2007. In 2008, the holiday toy drive and reception moved to the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) because we needed a larger place to have this event.
The reason we decided to have a holiday toy drive for the APA community in the Los Angeles area is because there was a need for toys for the children of low income families in our communities, but there did not seem to be any joint efforts to meet that need. There were some groups and individuals who had their own toy drives; however, the amount of toys collected were not always enough to make much of a difference. We found that collectively and with the help of various corporate and individual donors of toys and food and refreshments for our reception, we were able to collect and distribute a lot more toys for the children of families served by the APA nonprofit groups, which were selected as the toy recipient organizations by the co-sponsoring bar associations. We felt that this would be a great way to celebrate the holidays and network with the members and friends of the co-sponsoring organizations with a toy drive and reception and to give back to our communities.
All of these years, the admission for an evening of food, drinks and entertainment was free with a donation of a new, unwrapped toy worth $15 or a $15 donation at the door. Beginning 2011, due to the increase in the cost of toys and other financial reasons, the value amount of the donated toy and the amount of the donation at the door were increased to $20. Through this annual donation of toys, many children in our communities are able to enjoy the holidays with a new toy.
For the year 2017, we will be increasing donation amounts to $25 to compensate for ever increasing toy costs.