Channeling grief into a desire to help others.
The Share the Magic Toy Drive Inspired by Barbara Aguirre was first held in December 2010. We envisioned it as being a way to honor our mom after she passed away from complications brought on by her battle against lung cancer in November of 2009. This toy drive was inspired by the fantastic and fun memories we had shared of our holidays as a family. We specifically remembered magical Christmas mornings that our mom created for us each and every year. And though our memories started in childhood, it was important for our mom that every Christmas, even as adults, held something special for each of us. The most valuable gift for us was knowing that we were loved and that we had a mom that wanted to make sure that the magic of Christmas was there for us always.
For our mom, this was no small feat as there were 11 of us to look after. Our mom was blessed to have the help of our grandma (Esther) and our dad (Bernard Sr.) to assist with getting the gifts and food for our holiday celebrations. Our mom organized all of the efforts and elevated our holidays to a loving and fun level without match. Though we were not a family of extraordinary monetary wealth, it certainly felt like we were and we knew that we were blessed with the most important thing in life, someone who loved us unconditionally!
Losing our mom right before the holidays in 2009 was devastating and the only way we got through it was by coming together as a family. We did so in the way that we knew mom would want us to - and that was by being with each other. We truly felt her presence then and now.
In 2010, Andrea Aguirre (1 of 7 daughters), came up with the idea to have the toy drive in our mom’s honor. It was a way of remembering and celebration our mom’s loving ways but by sharing that with others in her memory. At the time the idea was hatched, we literally had 4 weeks time to pull it all together. It was a complete success as not only our family came together but friends, old and new, came out to lend their support in making the toy drive a reality.