LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Desert Torah Academy was packed with people decorating donuts, playing arcade games, chowing down on pizza, and spreading holiday cheer and good will Sunday as part of the Friendship Circle Pre-Hanukkah Toy Drive.
David Kohlmeier donated 75 coloring books to the drive along with his kids.
"I think, basically, you have to pay it forward in general," he said.
Friendship Circle teamed up with several Jewish organizations to collect thousands of toys for kids in four Las Vegas hospitals.
"Even a little gift," he said, "can you imagine lighting up some child who's sitting in a hospital, may e upset or depressed. It's going to lift them and make them feel better."
Rabbi Levi Harlig said the drive will stretch well beyond distribution to kids in hospitals, to kids across the community in need throughout the holiday season.
"Our goal is to make the world a better place by doing acts of goodness and kindness," he said. "That's actually the message of the Hanukkah holiday. You're always adding light."
Harlig said for giving to succeed it all comes down to timing.
He said donations need to come in early, and people in need of help need to reach out early to ensure they don't miss out on all of the holiday cheer.
"We do have toys available for the next couple of months, actually, because that happens every year," he said. "People say they want toys, but you want to get your act together a little earlier."
You can see a running list of charitable acts happening in the community at KTNV.com/give.