Friends4Kids-OperationHOBO (Helping Others Before Ourselves)

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2010 Press

Kidz Helpin Kidz Makes Holiday Season Brighter
Just before the holiday season began 6 years ago, a Boca Raton youngster watching the movie "Oliver Twist" and asked his parents if poor children like that really existed, or were they only in books and movies?
Realizing that some children can actually go without toys for the holidays, then 5 year old Luke Barron decided to do something about it.
He began small fundraising activities on his own such as buying bulk candy bars at Costco and selling them door to door. Other children Luke in his philanthropic activities. Soon, garage sales were being done, toy drives were organized and donations were made.
The funds collected were used to buy toys, gift wrapping and given directly to less fortunate children by a pint size Santa Claus (a.k.a Luke Barron).
This activity has grown over the past 6 years and more than 500 toys are given away. With many youngsters in their parents volunteering the Barron household looks like Santa's workshop when gift wrapping parties are hosted by Luke's parents.
Luke's helpers are from many different backgrounds, but all have learned a lesson about the haves and have nots. His volunteers are mostly from middle-class households who are learning that giving of themselves can be as rewarding as receiving.
Many volunteer youngsters are touched when they see how excited another child becomes when given a relatively small gift realizing that it is really the thought that counts.
"It is eye-opening to see just how much a child will value an inexpensive nerf football and that the most recent electronic games are not the only gifts that are appreciated."said Gina Barron, Luke mom, "and the parents of the children volunteering can sometimes see the realization in their own children, which they feel is a priceless lesson to learn in life."
Beyond the toys, using dollars that were raised, kidzhelpinkidz has also adopted 50 children from Florence Fuller Child Development Center, West and 200 children at the Delray Full Service Center.
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