In only 63 days, Music Changing Lives and its Founder Josiah Bruny have collected over 40,000 new, unwrapped toys for its Random Act of Kindness Gift Drive for children not just in San Bernardino, but regions across Northern and Southern California, areas of Texas, Mexico and even Haiti.
Although the 501C3 has already collected thousands of toys, they’re still in need of 450 more, for students at Victoria Elementary School in San Bernardino.
When asked what initially inspired him to coordinate such an imperative event to underprivileged communities, Bruny said it came to life 15 years ago when he experienced how one of his random acts of kindness put a smile on a child’s face.
“Over 15 years ago, I came home from selling CD’s and I was living in a music-style fraternity, and saw a Christmas tree in the middle of our living room. I said none of us have kids and made my roommates come with me to give the tree to a neighbor who I believed didn’t have one; we delivered it to them and to this day I remember how the kids’ faces lit up. So me being a Grinch turned into something great,” said Bruny.
In the years following, the Random Act of Kindness initiative went from giving Christmas trees to underprivileged families in San Bernardino, before evolving into a full-fledged gift drive across 22 regions in North America.
“This year our organization fell behind in planning the gift drive due to a handful of other initiatives Music Changing Lives has in the works, and we were about to forgo hosting it this year,” said Bruny. “I asked myself, why am I doing this, before driving past a storefront in an underprivileged community and saw someone who reminded me of myself during my childhood. That was the moment that I believe God energized me to get to planning because I know people are hurting and need help more than ever before,” continued Bruny.
This year’s 40,000 gifts will be distributed at 10 am on Christmas Eve at homeless shelters, group homes, and foster agencies; which can be viewed live on Music Changing Lives social media platforms.
Also, Music Changing Lives is not leaving out the community they are dedicated to serving as it just announced its Random Act of Kindness Christmas Eve Party, set to take place at Redlands Footlighters Theater, 1810 Barton Rd., Redlands 92373.
“I want the agencies that we’ve served in the past to have an opportunity to receive some love, via gifts and food while supplies last, live music and oldies presented by Q104.7. Registration for this event is a must,” concluded Bruny.
The organization is seeking volunteers for its Christmas Eve Party, noon to 3 pm at the theater.
To make toy donations contact Music Changing Lives at 951-992-0721.
Register for the Christmas Eve Party Here: https://bit.ly/3EKD6VD.