From its headquarters in Valleseco, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the NGO Sonrisas Canarias, once again, has managed to bring a smile to the most needy families on the Island with the delivery of more than 5,000 toys for 947 boys and girls, who yesterday They were able to enjoy Three Kings Day with absolute normality. This is confirmed by its president, Luis Febles, who points out that it is a record number of attention in the Reyes campaign: “We ended the year with an almost record number, with 947 children between zero and 11 years of age cared for, among whom we have distributed something more than 5,000 toys delivered”. Febles points out that most of the toys were delivered to families, all by appointment, between January 2, 3 and 4, although “on the 5th some stragglers came and we also attended to them.”
With the motto Christmas for everyone, Sonrisas Canarias has had the support of companies, schools, individuals, who have donated toys so that no child in need is left without them. “We have distributed them in batches of two, three and even five, if they are small,” says Febles.
The president of the NGO did not want to forget the volunteers who have worked piecemeal to have everything ready so that yesterday all the little ones could enjoy Three Kings Day to the fullest. “This year we have had a group of girls who have been in charge of preparing the bags, taking out the files and calling the families, and they have done it on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year”, he pointed out.
Regarding the balance that the NGO makes of the attention to the most vulnerable families during this 2022, again, it points to a sad record figure, since, according to the NGO’s data, this year 375 new families have joined the food reception, which means 2,800 people, all referred by the municipal social services. Sonrisas Canarias currently works with 18 municipalities. As a whole, according to Febles, 2022 ended with care for nearly 3,500 families, which translates into almost 15,000 people.
A job, that of the NGO, which has multiplied at the end of the year, which, according to Febles details, on November 18, after receiving the second phase of FEGA Food from the European Community, managed to distribute it in just 48 hours to 796 families so that no one will run out of food at Christmas.
The prospects for this new year are not rosy, since the general rise in prices may cause the arrival of new families to social services due to the impossibility of buying food and, therefore, to Sonrisas Canarias. “We will soon start working with families on food distributions, that is, on what is really necessary, maximum when we have a year ahead of us full of many uncertainties, abusive prices, inflation…”, concludes Febles.
The Santa Cruz City Council, through the Municipal Institute of Social Care (IMAS), chaired by the Councilor for Social Action, Rosario González, has also wanted to attend to the most vulnerable families so that on yesterday’s date they would have gifts for the most little ones in the house Thus, during the week of December 19 to 25, “some 400 cards for the purchase of gifts and toys were delivered to vulnerable families in this municipality, whose social investment has amounted to 16,000 euros” and revealed that , “always with the intention, as in previous editions, that in this campaign of Three Kings no girl or boy will be left without their gift and that the magic and illusion of Twelfth Night will be maintained.”
The mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, highlighted that, “in our line of attention to people since the beginning of our mandate, the minors of the most vulnerable families in the municipality are always very present, hence the particular attention that is given to them from the IMAS Children’s teams”. He also added that, “in addition to social care for the basic needs of these family units, on such a special day and awaited by the children of all households, we have redoubled our efforts so that illusion and magic reach everyone.” the homes of Santa Cruz”.
Rosario González valued the measure that is carried out every year, with which it tries to intervene with the idea of ”reducing the gap of the most vulnerable families so that minors have access to gifts these Kings”. Likewise, she argued that “this economic effort made by the IMAS is managed, and the beneficiary families are identified, thanks to the Children’s risk team.”
The cards were loaded with an amount of 40 euros and were also distributed to different associations; Specifically, the distribution reached the Padre Laraña association, which collected 62 of them; Atacaite, to which seven were delivered; Nuevo Futuro, which distributed 15, and Aldeas Infantiles, which received 25 cards for the Day Service.