Martha’s Kitchen has been serving food to less fortunate individuals and families in the San Jose community for nearly four decades and is taking goodwill one step further by donating thousands of toys to the city’s residents.

Gift drive

Martha’s Kitchen’s executive director, Bill Lee, said, “We’re giving toys away to the community here in San Jose, taking care of the children that might otherwise not get a toy this Christmas, so that they get a wrapped toy so they can take home and wait until Christmas day to open up.”

Lee added that the efforts were made to give people in the community a feeling of normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic that has caused people to be isolated from their loved ones. The gifts would allow children to enjoy the holidays despite being forced to stay indoors for the majority of the season.

Just before the holidays, Martha’s Kitchen conducted a COVID-safe drive-thru toy drive, a nonprofit effort that gave away thousands of gifts for local families.

Dozens of vehicles filled the neighborhood in the early hours of Monday and waiting outside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish church. There, Santa Claus was waiting for families ready to give out thousands of gifts to children.

One resident, Kim Transhe, expressed her gratitude for the efforts that gave her family some much-needed holiday spirit amid the pandemic. She said, “I hope for my kids in witnessing this to study harder so one day they can be donors and volunteer to help to give back to the community. We’re grateful for all the charities and all the donors.”

Giving back to the community

Lee said the nonprofit organization decided to take things further this year after the spread of the coronavirus disease. He added the gift drive was made after several other organizations opted to end their efforts due to the new stay-at-home orders.

Additionally, Lee partnered with Toys for Tots and the Order of Malta Association in order to give out at least 5,000 toys for children in the community. He said, “Martha’s Kitchen’s mission is to feed the hungry with dignity and no questions asked; it’s a dignified approach to taking care of those who are less fortunate in our community,” KRON4 reported.

The executive manager said that despite toys not being their strong suit, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic called for it. Lee said, “These are the people that are janitors, the bartenders, and so forth that have lost their jobs. We see it in this community, and people are struggling, and many of these people would not have the access funds to buy their children a single gift this year, so we want to make sure that those children at least get something this year.”

Additionally, Martha’s Kitchen opted to provide more meals, services, and groceries to less fortunate individuals every month after the pandemic’s severe effects.