If there were a more important year to have a holiday toy event, this year would be the year. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to dramatic swings in decrease household spending. Food on the table, health, and safety is a priority for some families, while a Christmas gift for those same families is least important.
The Miami Dolphins came to the rescue to give cheer and help a select group of families get their minds off the unpredictable pandemic.
The Miami Dolphins Football UNITES™ program hosted a Holiday Toy Event presented by The Morgan Law Group for 16 deserving South Florida families at the Gameday Theater at Hard Rock Stadium as the Dolphins played host to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 13. Pre-selected by Football UNITES™ organizational partners, the families enjoyed the game in the Gameday Theater’s socially distant and safe environment in festively decorated cabanas with lunch provided by Centerplate, the team’s food and retail beverage partner. At halftime, the Dolphins and The Morgan Law Group unveiled toys and gifts for the participants.
“The holidays are a special time to connect in what has been an extremely difficult year,” Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. “We are excited to reimagine our holiday toy event in partnership with The Morgan Law Group to bring families together and provide cheer in a safe environment.”
It’s a beautiful thing when you see a child’s face light up from a gift.
In the process of receiving a surprise gifted laptop, Luisa Lopez of the Grilmaldo family cried tears of joy not only for the gift but a much-needed tool that will be valuable for her endeavors.
“We are proud to be associated with the Miami Dolphins for their 2020 annual holiday toy initiative,” The Morgan Law Group Managing Partner Thomas Morgan said. “We are so excited to bring joy and happiness to children in the South Florida community. This year has been a tough one, and this event will make the holiday season a little merrier for these kids.”
Over the years, the Dolphins’ annual holiday gift events have impacted more than 1,200 youth from Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. Covid-19 this year has led the Dolphins to adjust to the social distance and mask-wearing plans.
“It was different this year; 2020 has been a trying year,” Dolphins Senior Director of Community Relations & Youth Programs RaShauna Hamilton said. “We knew there was going to be a very big need this holiday season. We normally have families in our training facilities; that was not an option; thank goodness we live in Florida where we can do a social distance outdoor event.”
These efforts align with the Miami Dolphins’ commitment of leveraging the power of sports and entertainment to inspire a healthier, more educated, and united South Florida community.
“With the pandemic, we had to be flexible with any holiday plan we had,” Hamilton added. “The most difficult part of 2020 is there are so many families in need, the need was high and has been high in years previous, but this year people were losing their jobs, essential workers are worked to the brink, this year we wish we could help more families all over South Florida.”
Dolphins Chairman of the Board & Managing General Partner Stephen Ross and Dolphins players created the Football UNITES™ program as a way to bring positive social change. The Dolphins organization believes it is important to be inclusive of the diversity and aware of the intersections that make up South Florida, uniting groups of different races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities, and faiths around the power of football.