We are launching our annual Royal Resorts Foundation Toy Drive during the festive season to collect gifts for needy children as part of the Spreading Happiness community campaign. If you are traveling to the Royal Resorts in Cancun or The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya this month or in December, we invite you to join our cause and put a smile on a child’s face.
Our goal is to collect toys for two worthy local causes. First up is to support a mega Christmas party at the Ciudad de la Alegria for 4,000 needy children, which will be held on December 14. Now in its 11th year, the posada or party is known as the Fabrica de Alegria, the “Happiness Factory.” After Christmas we will then surprise children at La Escuelita de Sonia (Sonia’s School) in Alfredo V. Bonfil community with a Spreading Happiness party with toys, games, piñatas filled with candies, cake and other goodies on Dia de Reyes or Three Kings Day, January 6, which is the day that Mexican children traditionally receive gifts.
What can you donate?
Tea sets and other kitchen play sets
Children’s books (in Spanish)
Barbie and similar dolls
Coloring books and art sets
Please do not donate guns, war games or battery-operated toys
All the big supermarkets and department stores in Downtown Cancun and Playa del Carmen have large and busy toy sections if you are not sure where to buy gifts. If you prefer to contribute to the Toy Drive by making a donation so that the Foundation can buy toys on your behalf, please contact the Duty Manager.
Where to drop off toys
There will be decorated Toy Drive collection boxes in the lobby of your resort and you can also drop off your gifts in Reception, ask for the Guest Services or Operations Manager. The Toy Drive will be open until January 4.
If you are not traveling to Cancun this season and would like to help, the Royal Resorts Foundation accepts donations of educational material, new toys and used clothing (children and adults) in good condition all year round.
Ciudad de la Alegria
Located on the outskirts of Cancun, the Ciudad de la Alegria helps the poor, the sick, the elderly and the most vulnerable members of society. It comprises the Mano Amiga School, which offers education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, a home for the elderly, a hospice for the terminally ill, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, a food kitchen, clinic and other services.
La Escuelita de Sonia, helping forgotten children
La Escuelita de Sonia was founded 10 years ago by Sonia Cejas Martinez, a mother of three who opened her home and her heart to neighborhood children who for many reasons were not able to go to school. She began to teach one little boy to read and the word soon spread, more and more children flocked there. Gradually her whole house became a classroom and she now welcomes 105 pupils on a daily basis. After a nutritious and filling breakfast, the children get on with their studies in a fun and safe environment.
The children studying with Sonia come from desperately poor backgrounds and have fallen through the cracks in the system. They may not have the birth certificates needed to register them, the money for uniforms and study materials or parents to enroll them. Some are looking after even younger siblings and are left on their own all day and others have physical, language and behavioral challenges. Sonia’s School gives them the opportunity to learn and they follow a course of studies that will prepare them for the equivalency exam needed to attend a public primary or secondary school. Sonia and her volunteer staff also help children and their parents obtain the documents such as birth certificates and official IDs they will need to integrate into society.
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