The Visionaires are back again with another giveaway for the Virgin Islands community. On January 6, 2022, the group will be having a “Back 2 School Toy Drive” that will benefit students of all ages.
Nathan Dowell is the organizer of the drive. He said that the Visionaires started as an entertainment group amongst talented friends in 2020 and evolved into a group of individuals who give back to the community.
Of the upcoming drive, Dowell said that the purpose is “to help out the parents and the kids in preparation for the January 10 in-person opening.”
According to the 2021-2022 public school calendar, the third marking period for schools in the territory begins on January 7, 2022. Students in grades four through twelve will be required to return to in-person learning. As such, the Visionaires have decided to provide basic school utensils to students to assist with the transition. Giveaway items will include copybooks, loose-leaf paper, pens, pencils, and a variety of toys. Bags are anticipated to be distributed as well but could not be confirmed by the time of the interview.
“And also, some of the gifts we’re giving out, [though] it’s after Christmas, it’s mainly for the kids that weren’t able to receive gifts for Christmas,” said Dowell of the toys to be distributed.
The Visionaires are hoping to provide items to more than 50 children. Many of the toys that the Visionaires will be distributing in January have been donated by members of the community. The group is open to receiving more donated items as well. To donate supplies, items can be dropped off at Viking Corporation, located behind the Schneider Regional Medical Center. Drop-offs can be made Monday to Friday between 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.
During the drive, haircuts will be given by Jahnajade Hodge of Bookthedubb, and games will be provided for all kids who show up.
“You can get a fresh cut for the new season … and games for the kids who will be there. So, it’s kind of like a fun day. We’ll have sack races and things like that,” said Dowell.
The drive will benefit children who attend elementary school, middle school, and those who attend high school. However, Dowell said mainly children ages five to fourteen would receive the toys.
The drive will occur at the Emile Griffith Ball Park between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. More information about the Visionaires can be found on their Facebook page. To get in contact with Dowell about volunteer opportunities, you can reach him via Facebook Messenger on the Visionaires page, his personal page, or by phone at 407-247-9634; monetary donations can be made at https://gofund.me/0e179d70.
The Visionaires would like to thank all individuals who have donated to the drive, Adlah Donastorg of Connect the Dots, the parents and staff at All Saints Cathedral School, and volunteers. They would also like to wish everyone a happy holiday season.
To the community, Dowell said, “Happy holidays! Thank you for supporting us. We’re happy to give back, and there will be more to come.”