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Boston organizations aim to fulfill holiday wishes with gift drives

Kassmin Williams

The holiday season is a cheerful time of year for most, but for some it can be a reminder of their struggles.

A number of Boston-based organizations are hoping to ease the burden for families in need this year by holding gift drives and fulfilling wishes for children who may otherwise go without.

These include:

Smart from the Start

Smart from the Start is hosting a “Holiday Party for a Purpose” where families can participate in crafts and activities that celebrate holidays from around the world.

The event is being held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Smart’s Child and Family Development Center at 68 Annunciation Rd. in Roxbury.

Attendees are asked to bring in a new unwrapped gift for the organization’s annual toy drive that benefits children in Smart’s program, which has a mission to eliminate the achievement gap for low-income families and children.

The organization provides education services to children from infants to 5 years old and has served more 1,000 children, according to

For more information or to RSVP to the “Holiday Party for a Purpose” and toy drive, contact Kat Chapman at or 617-635-5030.

Boys & Girls Clubs

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston is doing its part to ensure Boston families in need have a fulfilling holiday.

The clubs collect toys and gift cards for children and teens in need during the holiday season and hold a gift-wrapping event each year.

Wish lists are collected from each child and then provided to donors who purchase the gifts, in the $20 to $50 price range, for the children.

Gifts can be dropped off on or before Dec. 13.

The Yawkey Club of Roxbury is inviting the community to the annual gift wrapping event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 at 115 Warren St. in Roxbury.

Toys and gifts will be collected at the event as well. To participate in the toy drive, visit Gift ideas for the collection and gift wrapping event on Saturday can be found on after searching for the event.

The Home for Little Wanderers

The Home for Little Wanderers is collecting new and unwrapped toys and gift cards until Dec. 19 for its annual Big Wish Drive.

The organization collects wish lists from children in their care and provides the information on its website for donors who can then purchase the items. The items are then dropped of at one of the many businesses and organizations that are supporting The Home for Little Wanderers gift drive.

Donors can also purchase individual gifts that aren’t on a wish list or donate a gift card for the organization’s gift card challenge. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture will match up to $5,000 in gift card donations.

The main drop-off site is at The Big Wishes Toy Room at 55 Boylston in Chestnut Hill. The drop-off site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Gently used items are also being collected and can be dropped off at The Thrift Shop of Boston at 17 Corinth Street in Roslindale.

Proceeds from The Thrift Shop benefit the Home For Little Wanderers. For more information on wish lists and making holiday donations, visit

The Action for Boston and Community Development

The Action for Boston and Community Development has held its toys drive for more than 30 years and has helped more than 6,000 families in need during the holiday season.

This year, the organization hopes to add to that number and is collecting monetary and toy donations at each of its locations throughout the city.

For drop-off location information or to make a monetary donation, visit

Annual toy drive for Children’s Services of Roxbury

Children’s services of Roxbury will be collecting toys for families in need during its fourth annual toy drive from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 17.

The drive is being held at Blu Restaurant, Bar and Café at 4 Avery St. in Boston.

To RSVP to the event, visit and search for “4th Annual Toy Drive for Children’s Services of Roxbury.”