(Revised 12/7/2014) Mrs. Santa and the AFRO Charities have been serving those in need during the holidays for over 50 years. This important legacy continues as Mrs. Santa looks to collect toys, food, clothing and financial donations to aid the effort to make the holidays a joyful experience for all of Baltimore’s families.
“We try to help the less fortunate during the holiday season by providing them with their wish,” explained “Mrs. Santa,” who bears a striking resemblance to the AFRO’s own Diane Hocker, director of community and public relations.
AFRO readers can write into the newspaper with a wish – whether for food, clothes, or toys – and Mrs. Santa takes their wish list directly to her elves: the community members whose donations of food, clothing, toys or a financial contribution ensure that everyone has something to celebrate this holiday.
“The community has been supporting this for over 50 years,” said Hocker. “They help us in achieving those goals of assisting so many families, whether they send checks or donate to our various toy drives.”
Mrs. Santa has four toy drives planned this year.
- Dec. 5, from 6-9 p.m., at Colin’s Restaurant in Randallstown, hosted by the Friday Night Bunch;
- On Dec. 10, from 6-8 p.m., at Phaze 10 on Howard Street in Baltimore;
- Dec. 12 from 6-10 a.m. at the AFRO offices on the 2500 block of North Charles St. in Baltimore, which will be hosted by Radio-One’s Larry Young; and later that evening; and
- Dec. 12 from 6-9 p.m., again at Colin’s Restaurant, hosted by The Jugs and Baltimore City Pinochle Bugs.
Anyone interested in making a financial contribution can make a check or money order out to AFRO Charities Inc., and send it to 2519 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Checks and non-perishable food items can also be dropped off at the same address.
“I’m so blessed to be able to once again help the children in the community to put a smile on their face,” said Mrs. Santa.