Each year, the Living Word Church hosts a fundraiser to assist families with gifts and groceries for the festive season. The goal of the project is to bring happiness to children by offering toys during the most important holiday of the year in San Pedro, Belize. Many families lack basic necessities during what should be a time for celebration.
Pastor of Living Word Church, Ian Zaldivar, began small when first initiating this annual project, but never gave up on his dream of creating joy across the community where he and his ministers reside. In 2010, he met Joel Nagel, which launched the dream into its current magnitude.
Support Throughout the Years
Throughout the years, Joel has been helping fundraise large sums and expanding the cause to more kids. This year, the Toy Drive was held on December 23, with Caye International Bank and ECI Development raising an amazing $77,316 BZD for the church, in order to assist them with this noble endeavor.
Their generous donation was able to supply hundreds of gracious food baskets to families, providing them with essentials to last throughout the holidays and beyond. In addition, many small toys were given out during Christmas caroling that took place on December 22.
Hundreds of families gathered after 6pm at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, where they participated in a heartwarming prayer service. Soon afterwards volunteers handed out many more quality toys.
“This year’s event was yet another success”, said Pastor Ian Zaldivar. “The generous donations helped to produce an amazing event and also helped The Living World Church raise funds to aid less fortunate families in the island community throughout the year”.
Positive Impact on Communities
Nagel’s dedication to making a positive impact stems from a deep understanding of the challenges faced by others due to his own background. He understands how the simplest of joys can mean so much to those in need during these times, having himself grown up with relatively little. Nagel’s business partner and Chief Executive Officer for ECI Development, Michael Cobb, also supports community activity and commends organizations like LWC.
“I have made it my personal mission to continue contributing to this great campaign in which the community and the church share the holiday cheer through such a cheerful activity,” said Joel. “Christmas is the perfect time to share and celebrate with others, by showing love and support to those around you. It’s always an honor to be able to contribute to the annual toy drive. We look forward to it every year.”