What is Toys for Joy?
During the holiday season, it can be difficult for families to provide toys and food without sufficient funds and resources. This is true now more than ever with the impact of COVID-19 throughout the last year and a half.
In the past 24 years, over 200,100 San Diego children and their families have experienced the hope of the Christmas season in a unique way at the annual Toys for Joy event where they receive free toys, groceries, and more. Just in the last year, 17,390 people were served by 1,434 volunteers where 111,000 lbs of groceries and over 18,000 toys were distributed. Rock Church, together with schools, businesses, local churches, and community organizations partner to host the event each year.
"More than 2 in 5 children face food insecurity in San Diego County, according to KidsData.org."
“Toys for Joy represents the best of San Diego’s giving spirit. It brings together residents and neighbors from across our city to share in the joy of the holiday season and provide for those among us who are less fortunate. From toys to groceries to clothing and more, the lives of so many San Diegans are truly transformed through this community event, and I am proud to see this effort continue to grow year after year.” -San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Do Something Church Background
The Rock Church is San Diego’s largest church, the 20th largest church in the United States as well as one of the most diverse. Pastor Miles McPherson, a former NFL player, started Rock Church in 2000. Each Sunday, over 22,000 people attend the Rock’s Sunday services at five separate campuses, microsite locations and watch online. With almost 60 active ministries, the Rock has donated over 2.3 million hours of community service estimated at a value of over $38 million of social services over the past 10 years. The Rock Church is a particularly outward facing church—a movement of people committed to taking the Gospel into every street, and to every person, so we can show the world that no matter where one finds themselves, Jesus is the hope they long for.
Miles McPherson and the leaders of the Rock Church started the Do Something Church as part of the Rock Church’s initiatives in 2009 when they asked the Mayor of San Diego and other city leaders how the Rock Church could best serve the city. It came at a time when recession had forced budget cuts and many projects were left undone. The result was thousands of volunteers being mobilized to serve the City of San Diego. It grew to Miles and Rock ministry leaders training others through the Do Something Church how to establish similar community partnerships in their cities.
“More than ever, people need to step up and help those who are in need this year,”
“Christmas is a time when God showed His love for us, and we’re ready to show God’s love in the communities where we live and serve. That’s the purpose of the church.”
Toys for Joy is the Rock Churches largest Do Something Church event every year. Together with agencies, schools, businesses, local churches, and community organizations we seek to meet the needs of our surrounding communities at Christmastime and bring them loads of Joy in the process!.