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Spreading Joy to Puerto Rico


American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) invites American Baptists to join its effort to bring joy to the children of American Baptist churches and schools in Puerto Rico this holiday season through gifts of toys.

ABHMS is collecting toy-filled shoeboxes to ship to Puerto Rico in time for Three Kings Day on January 6.

“Nothing brings light to a child’s eyes more than toys at Christmas. Many of the children of Puerto Rico are still living without electricity, so their homes and schools are especially in need of the light of God’s love. Help American Baptist Home Mission Societies ensure these children find the star of Christmas this holiday season by contributing boxes of toys to this special holiday campaign,” says Victoria Goff, ABHMS associate director of Mission Advancement and Passionary Movement, and director of Disaster Recovery for ABHMS’ Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico multi-year initiative.

To participate, simply fill an unwrapped shoebox with newly purchased unwrapped toys appropriate for a child in one of the following age categories:

  • 1-3,
  • 4-6,
  • 7-9
  • 10-12

Then, write on the box the suggested age range and whether the toys are intended for a boy or girl. Please remember that toys and shoeboxes must remain unwrapped.

Your toy-filled shoebox must be received by ABHMS no later than Tuesday, Dec. 19. Mail it to Victoria Goff/Christmas Project, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851. Or drop it off at the American Baptist Mission Center, 588 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.

In addition, ABHMS staff members will provide newly purchased brand-name clothing in various sizes for teens aged 12-17 in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, ABHMS continues its “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” initiative and response to the damage wrought on the island by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Staff members continue to visit Puerto Rico to provide supplies and to connect with partners and plan recovery efforts.

Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico includes 114 churches with approximately 25,000 congregants; nine missions; Corporación Milagros del Amor; and Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico. ABHMS is committed to restoring all of these entities, in addition to schools that sustained substantial damage.