For the fifth year in a row, Andrew Chavarria is making it his mission to give every local child in need a Christmas miracle.
Chavarria — better known to some as DJ Drowzzzy Drew — started his annual Toy Drive back in 2017 after a lucrative year of DJing.
“Back in 2017, I had a good year making money, and I thought, ‘What can I do to help out my community?’” he said. “So I thought of a toy drive.”
Chavarria said his dad, who has since passed away, was a big encouragement to him during past toy drives.
“He was like, ‘Just keep doing it and see if you can get more people to help you out,’” Chavarria said. “So that’s what I did, and that’s what I’m doing.”
And this year, with the goal of making the culminating Toy Drive event bigger and better than ever, Chavarria said he’s partnered with the Changing Lives Coalition, a local nonprofit that helps area children with after-school and summer programs.
“Now I’ve partnered with Changing Lives Coalition, and they’re going to help with volunteering,” he said. “Also, in the past, businesses have always wanted to donate money, but I didn’t have a 501(c)(3) account, so that’s something else [Changing Lives Coalition] brought to the table, and it’s been helping out a lot.”
The Toy Drive will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at the Artesia Center, 612 N. Eight St. Children will be able to pick up their gifts, take photos with Santa Claus and the Grinch, eat food, and get free haircuts.
Anyone interested in signing up their child to receive a gift and RSVP for the Toy Drive event should visit www.tinyurl.com/drowzzzydrew and click on “Register Your Child Now.” The deadline to register a child is Friday, Dec. 3. If interested in sponsoring a child, click on “Sponsor A Child.”
The first year Chavarria held the toy drive, there were only 33 children who were signed up. As of press time this morning, 154 children have already been signed up to receive a gift at this year’s drive.
Chavarria said he’s still in need of sponsors and volunteers for the event. He said volunteers will be needed the week leading up to the event to help organize the donations and sort them alphabetically to streamline the process.
“Now I’m just working on getting more donations,” Chavarria said. “And it doesn’t have to be money; it can just be donating your time.”
Additionally, he said companies are also welcome to sponsor the Toy Drive, and there are three sponsorship levels:
• White, in which companies will be recognized at the event.
• Red, in which companies will be recognized at the event, on signage, and on flyers.
• Green, in which companies will be recognized at the event, on signage and flyers, and they can set up a booth at the event to offer services and/or products that benefit community children.
For more information on how to sponsor, donate and/or volunteer, contact Chavarria via email or phone at email@example.com or 575-308-9705.