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Toys For Tijuana

January 16th 2005 the Big Animals joined the long standing tradition with Dr. Roy Springer and friends in going down into Mexico to bring toys to thousands of poor underprivileged children. This event was destined to be an adventure, and what an adventure it was.

Picture a stream of a hundred plus exuberant young boys lining up to receive a bag of gifts; next to them a long row of young girls excited with what they might find; then there were families with small children; and yet another line of parents lining up to receive blankets. Then picture all these children and parents facing a large crew of volunteers unloading bag after bag of toys from 11 trucks full of 10 thousand toys and more. Wow! What a sight to see.

Now try to imagine wading into this crowed in big, thick, rather warmish (it was 80 degrees outside) costumes, and having streams of little kids rush towards you to get a hug from Mama Bear or Pooh Bear. In a short period of time I alone must have hugged 500 or more kids and parents, one after another. Along with our other two Big Animals on the scene, Tele Tubby and Stripes the Tiger, we must have doled out thousands of loving hugs and witnessed so many brilliant smiles that it was overwhelming. Combine this image with the backdrop of one of the poorest barrios of Tijuana, and you have a very memorable picture.

Even getting there was an adventure in itself. One of our volunteers offered to risk his RV on the wet and bumpy back roads of TJ. There were a few times where we narrowly adverted getting stuck. Luckily we came through with only a broken exhaust pipe, and one extremely muddy vehicle. The Mexican Police escorted us through the towns and into the barrios, and young children ran alongside our caravan as we arrived; another unforgettable scene.

But the adventure is not over yet. After all that, we jumped in the trucks and hauled off through more 4-wheel country to another location. As we pulled into a big lot at the top of a hill we saw hundreds more children and families all lined up to receive their gifts. By the time we crossed the border back into the USA it was over 11 hours from the early morning gift loading session in Miramar.

The Toys for Tijuana crew knows how to make a difference. And what an amazing gift these people bring. The scope of this toy drive is awesome! And the glowing smiles on literally thousands of faces makes it all worth while. The Big Animals are honored to have been a part in this event. And each and every one of our volunteers was deeply moved by the experience.

Thank You,
Mitch Gregory
President, Big Animals For Little Kids


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Michele Campbell Memorial Fund

Big Animals for Little Kids | 4629 Cass Street #342 | San Diego, California 92109 | (619) 723-3142
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN #26-3490647