Orlando non-profit running short on presents for homeless kids

- An Orlando non-profit says they're running short on presents for homeless kids, this holiday season.

Karla Rivera and her husband Victor Bertil used to be homeless. “I used to leave my kids with my grandma, so they wouldn't be exposed to the homelessness,” Rivera explained, “and me and him would drive around in the car all day with nothing to do.”

Now they and their three kids live at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. Rivera said the room, education, and training they’re getting there is giving them a future. But only you can help save their holidays.

“It would really make a difference,” Rivera said, “because kids here are really looking forward to a great Christmas.”

This year, for whatever reason, the rescue mission is short on toys for the 70 kids living there. They have collected some toys, but Freddy Clayton, the OURM President, said this time last year, they had twice as many.

“So what we're looking to do is see if we can inspire folks to donate some Christmas gifts so these kids can get the same kind of festive, joyous Christmas that your children or my children have experienced,” Clayton said.

Rivera says this Christmas will be especially hard for their older daughter, K'Lani. 

“I just don't want her to feel like, because we're here, she's not going to get the Christmas she always gets,” she said. Rivera is hoping people will open their hearts, and help give them and the other families there a merry Christmas.

The rescue mission says anyone who has a toy can drop it off at their Orlando center or call them for a staff member to come pick it up. You can contact them at: 

  • Orlando Union Rescue Mission: 1525 West Washington St., Orlando, FL 32805
  • (407) 422-4855
  • www.ourm.org
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