Samia Mansour always has enjoyed volunteering and giving to charities. This holiday season, she chose to give to Kiting for Kids during a toy drive last weekend in North Beach.
“It’s the holidays, and I’ve always believed in giving back to the community,” Mansour said. “I like to make other people happy, especially children. It doesn’t matter which charity I support. If I could, I would support all of them.”
Kiting for Kids started in Jupiter as a way for beach communities to gather toys for children battling life-threatening illnesses.
On Saturday, gifts were dropped off at a stand on the beach manned by TKS, a local kite, surf and sports store. Free 30-minute kite-surfing lessons were offered in exchange for toys.
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Lauren Lipcon, who has been kite surfing for three years, started the Miami edition of the toy drive last year.
“I loved the idea and I wondered why we didn’t have one down here,” Lipcon said. “It’s really special to see these kids’ faces light up. It’s all about making them happy.”
For this year’s toy drive, organizers teamed up with the Little Lighthouse Foundation and members of the kite-surfing community to give toys to six charities including the Holtz Children’s Hospital and Chapman Partnership.
Select TKS locations will be collecting toys until Wednesday night. The toys will be distributed to the children Saturday.
Christelle Chopard, a team rider with TKS, said she loves that people can bond with nature and support a good cause.
“We would like to be a better world and be harmonious and in tune with everybody. It’s healthy to have outdoor sports supporting a community who is in need,” Chopard said. “If we can care for the environment and nature we automatically care for the community.”
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