There were plenty of smiles and sunshine on the Southside this past Saturday. On December 17, 2022, Mora-Vation Ministry and over 50 volunteers from the community hosted the biggest toy drive on the Southside. This was the 9th year for the 5013c nonprofit organization putting on this holiday event.

Founder of Mora-Vation Ministry Fernando Mora was born and raised on the Southside of San Antonio. Giving back to his community is something he is passionate about, and he was inspired to do this toy drive years ago.

Past and present alumni from Harlandale, McCollum, Burbank, and South San Independent School Districts, local businesses, and organizations teamed up to raise funds and collect toys and bikes since August of this year for the event.

The businesses, organizations, and community leaders that were involved this year were: Communicare, SA Threads, Southtown Clinic, New Step Foot Clinic, Puro Pedo Talk Show, Judge Peter Sakai, Judge Cynthia Chapa, Get it up Productions, Rhino Kleen, Live from the Southside Magazine, and Lone Star National Bank. Texas Vista Medical Center also attended the toy drive to provide first aid; thankfully, none was needed.

Hundreds of families lined up for a couple of hours before the event. The line was over a block long. This year, Mora-Vation Ministry gave away over 1,500 toys and about 110 bikes to children of all ages. The ministry volunteers also individually wrapped each gift.

The event occurred at Brooster’s Backyard Icehouse, just as in previous years. The venue provided music throughout the toy drive, and the Southside Real Estate Professionals fed the kids and their families hot dogs and chips. Pancho Claus was a hit as he passed out over 100 World’s Finest Chocolates to attendees.

“Seeing the community praying before the festivities began was such a site. We could not have done this without the volunteers’ help. We could not have done this without the team. I am sincerely appreciative and thankful for everyone who was involved. Next year will be our 10th anniversary”, Mora mentions.