Magic of Christmas Toy Drive: Health First Associates Fill Shopping Carts for Needy Kids

End of December gets brighter with the promise of new toys, duds, games and gear

HEALTH FIRST FOUNDATION President and CEO Michael Seeley checks out after shopping during the annual “Magic of Christmas Toy Drive” for the South Brevard Sharing Center. (Health First Image)

Holiday gift-buying partnership between the health system and South Brevard Sharing Center, Brevard Family Partnership is now in its ninth year and provides joy to about 140 area kids.

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The days are shorter, but for Brevard County kids, the end of December gets brighter with the promise of new toys, duds, games and gear.

“It’s so much fun,” said Ruba Mizyed, a business manager. “It’s my favorite event that we do – as soon as the email to sign up comes though, I click it.”

“It feels good to shop for someone else – someone who needs it,” said Renee Falkner.

No kid should go without over the holidays, and the Health First Foundation is putting resources behind that pledge. Earlier this month, associates of Health First helped the foundation and the South Brevard Sharing Center provide bags of gifts for about 140 kids in need – a substantial increase in the number of kids served over last year.

“When you think about wellness in a family, having a good Christmas is probably one of the happiest things you can think about, and at Health First, we’re fully committed to wellness and health in our community, and this is one of the ways that we promote it,” said Michael Seeley, CEO and President of the Health First Foundation.

GAYLE SHERMAN considers a girls shirt while shopping during the Magic of Christmas Toy Drive as a gift. (Health First Image)

It was the ninth year for the Magic of Christmas Toy Drive, a partnership between Health First and the South Brevard Sharing Center and Brevard Family Partnership. Health professionals have long said that happiness and joy improve health outcomes for all ages, Seeley pointed out.

There’s also a link between charitable acts and employee and community wellness.

“There’s a lot of families right now struggling with basic needs, and this gives them some relief,” said Chris Stagman, the center’s Community Relations and Development Director.

“Health First is a strong corporate champion, and not just for us but countless nonprofits in the community.”

As part of our not-for-profit mission, Health First provided more than $184 million of community support in fiscal year 2020 through a variety of community health improvement services, community building activities, direct charity and uncompensated care, and other community support.

To learn more about the Health First Foundation and how it supports Brevard County residents, visit HFgivesback.org.

Tracy Conner dons festive shopping accouterments just before the spree begins in earnest. (Health First Image)
Chris Stagman and Joe Joiner load up the truck with new toys, clothes, games and gear following a Health First associate shopping spree. (Health First Image)
BRANDY MERCEDES flips through vinyl records looking for the right one to help fill her basket. (Health First Image)
Lynda Schuchert weighs her stocking stuffer choices during the Magic of Christmas Toy Drive. (Health First Image)
Joshua Surprenant flips through shirts while shopping for a young girl during the Magic of Christmas Toy Drive. (Health First Image)
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