Teens 'Toys For Joys' Donates Over 200 Toys to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
Aesha Bhavsar, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, with donated toys for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. {courtesy}

By Ryan Yousefi

Five Parkland and Coral Springs classmates recently wrapped up another successful holiday giving season.

The ‘Toys for Joys’ initiative, created by five Marjory Stoneman classmates, has provided significant support for hospitalized children during the past two holiday seasons.

One student said they were inspired to do good and help those in need after seeing others do the same.

“The idea started after we heard about how the Joe DiMaggio Hospital helped a neighbor’s child. Their story so moved us, we knew we had to do something,” Aesha Bhavsar, Heron Bay resident, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and one of the girls behind the feel-good drive, tells Coral Springs Talk

Alongside her friends and Douglas classmates, Caroline Lam, Preeti Kumar, Leah Habte, and Preesha Zaveri attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Bhavasar says the initial group’s initial spark led to a neighborhood-wide effort, starting with a modest door-to-door collection.

“Last year, we just walked around our neighborhood. Everyone was incredibly supportive, which encouraged us to keep going,” Bhavsar shared.

This year, the group’s efforts saw a significant expansion after realizing just how much good they can do. 

“We realized we could do more,  so we set up an Instagram account, @toys_4joys, and established multiple drop-off points,” Bhavsar said, adding, “It’s amazing to see how people from all over Parkland and Coral Springs have come together to support this cause,”

The impact of their added efforts and larger goals was substantial. In their first year, ‘Toys for Joys’ collected 85 toys, but this year, they nearly tripled that number, donating 246 toys. 

Bhavsar and her friends have set an even more ambitious goal for the next year, saying they hope to donate over 500 toys. 

“We hope to collaborate with more local businesses and student clubs. It’s not just about the toys; it’s about bringing a smile to those kids’ faces,” Bhavsar explained.

While supported by the MSD Key Club, the initiative is primarily a personal project of Bhavsar and her friends and not that of an official school or organization.

She says even as a side passion project, the determination and community support to make significant change has made ‘Toys for Joys a shining example of how everyone can do their part and lend a helping hand to those in need. 

“It’s all about spreading joy and making a difference,”

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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