Partners Joe White and Phillip Etheredge are again partnering for the WE Toy Drive this year, benefiting Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
The drive, born from years of hosting holiday parties where guests often asked what they could bring, will collect toys for kids Nov. 1 through Dec. 4.
The nonprofit organization is accepting donations at 10 businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond, including the Eye Institute of West Florida in Largo, Clearwater, Hyde Park, Westchase and St. Petersburg; Get Fitness; the Gulf to Bay location of ESPORTA Fitness; Eyelid Surgeons of Tampa Bay; Cody Pools at their offices in Tampa and Texas; Jacqueline Spa; ElectroMed Solutions in Orlando; NextGen Healthcare; 1st — Dragon; and Fresh N’ Go Foods.
Donations from anywhere in the world can be sent during the drive dates to the WE Toy Drive headquarters at 13215 114th St. in Largo, FL, 33778.
A final drive-by toy drive, complete with holiday decorations, will be held on Dec. 4 at the Largo location from 6:30-11 p.m.
White and Etheredge began collecting toys for kids in need several years ago by asking their holiday party guests to bring a toy to donate, officially launching the program in 2019. They collected nearly 500 toys that year and donated them to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the drive to regroup. They modeled the toy drive last year, with proceeds benefiting Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, after socially distant celebrations for anything from birthdays to graduations. As the pandemic bore down, people would drive past homes to offer their well-wishes from car parades, sparking the idea for a similar drive-by toy drive.
The pair found even greater success, with more than 600 donations. They hope this year will be even bigger, with expanded drop-off locations all over the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
“WE are continuing with the Toy Drive-By theme, having neighbors decorate and light the streets with holiday joy for all to come back and enjoy. WE have again collaborated with the same businesses as in previous years, and we’ve added many more, including two global companies,” White and Etheredge explained.
“Having the support and participation with our grassroots community along with global companies has expanded the Toy Drive more than WE could have ever imagined, WE are even in discussions with expanding our Toy Drive to multiple Johns Hopkins locations, specifically in Baltimore, Maryland.”
For more information and specific drop-off locations visit WEtoydrive.com.