Boxer + Gerson has hosted an Opening Reception for the annual Oakland Mayor’s Toy Drive each year since 2008 when Partner Maria Grasso first organized the festivities to raise money and collect toy donations for the 40+-year-old holiday campaign.
An event that is traditionally marked by festive singing, mingling with local dignitaries, indulging in holiday food and drink, and sometimes even rubbing elbows with Oakland A’s mascot, Stomper, this year the reception could not be held due to the on-going COVID 19 pandemic.
As many Oaklanders faced economic challenges associated with the city shutting down to slow the spread of the virus, it was more vital than ever that we find a way to make the Mayor’s drive successful in serving families in need over the holidays.
The mayor’s office adjusted their event to call for donations of cash or gift cards in lieu of physical toys in order to keep vulnerable families, volunteers, and donors safe. As a firm, Boxer + Gerson dedicated time to writing letters and calling on our colleagues and partners in the community to collect donations for the drive.
We were pleased to learn from Mayor Schaff that the drive resulted in donations allowing the city to provide gift cards to nearly 10,000 Oakland children supporting local businesses. That is up from last year, a testament to the generosity of the community coming together in extraordinary times.
We are hopeful that in 2021 we begin to see economic recovery across the city and that, come year-end, we can come together to support this important event in person once more.