Sleigh Stop Toy Giveaway at River City Youth Foundation
It was a joyous season of toy giving for thousands of children, teens, and parents living in the community of southeast Austin's #DoveSprings. Residents, church members, business professionals, and volunteers joined together to donate toys that put smiles on 1,000 children and teens served at River City Youth Foundation's Sleigh Stop event, an in-person, drive by version of its annual Merry Memories toy giveaway. Due to the pandemic, this year the toy giveaway was held over four consecutive days that culminated with a grand experience on Saturday, December 19. All families were pre-registered and obtained a drive-by appointment. For the occasion, RCYF also lit up its nearly three-acre campus with 20,000 holiday lights and dozens of giant inflatables which served as cheerful photo opportunities for the families. Sleigh Stop activities also included a socially distanced Santa, event DJ, special performances by local artists, food distributions, bike raffles, treat bags, and a coat raffle. The youth winners of the Sleigh Stop's art and writing contests also received extra toys and bikes. #RiverCityYouthFoundation sends a BIG THANK YOU to all of its individual and corporate supporters, for whom this year's toy giveaway would not have happened. They include Dell Latino Connect, which organized a massive toy drive that yielded hundreds of toys for the event. Major event sponsors were HEB, Hungry for God Home, Page Southerland Page, ABC Bank, Abe Hernandez, and Austin Voices for Education. Many other organizations contributed including the Four Points Young Men's Service League, LCRA, Lowe's, Teri Road Baptist Church, Optimist Club of Austin, Amigos en Azul, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Austin Fire Department. We are grateful to you all. Photo credit: Nickholas Bailey
16th Annual Father's Parade by River City Youth Foundation 2020
(Music Credit: Mondo Grasso "Family" River City Youth Foundation hosted its 16th Annual Father's Parade & Fiesta for #DoveSprings families in southeast Austin. Due to the pandemic, this year's event was modified to be a car parade. Families decorated their cars for the occasion and the winning dads received $100 gift cards provided by Lowe's. The purpose of this longtime annual parade for RCYF has always been to create awareness about the positive influence that fathers (and father figures) have on their children's academic and social success. Research shows that a positive father role model has a greater impact on the family than other role models. This year with the pandemic underway RCYF called on all dads and father role models in the community to use their influence in a positive way. RCYF asked dads to take these 3 steps to protect their loved ones during this challenging time: 1) Wear a mask at work, in public, and at family gatherings. 2) Stay 6 feet apart at work, in public, and at family gatherings. 3) Tell your family and friends to do the same because Covid-19 spreads more easily from one person to another than other illnesses. RCYF provided each father in the parade a supply of masks for work and home. RCYF thanks its partners for the event Lowe's Southeast Austin @LowesMedia Hungry for God Young Men's Ministry @HungryforGodATX Strong Fathers, Strong Families (Mike Hall) @StrongFathers A Glimmer of Hope Foundation @aglimmerofhope Austin Fire Department @austinfiredept Travis County Constable Precinct 4 @George4TCCPct4 This year's 2020 event was dedicated to our fathership hero Alphonso Rincon. His passion to help fathers become exemplary school and community role models has influenced many programs around the country. Even though he is no longer with us, Alphonso's legacy lives on forever.