BY DANA SPECTOR / AJT //

Every year the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) promotes literacy in the Jewish community through its book festival. This year, the festival’s social action project that promotes literacy is partnering with “Amy’s Holiday Party” to extend the joy of literacy and holiday cheer outside of the Jewish community.

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Nearly two decades ago tragedy struck a homeless shelter in Atlanta just before its annual holiday party. The shelter’s children were left with nothing – no presents, party or holiday cheer.

Then Amy Sacks Zeide jumped into action. She was only 12 at the time, but Amy was determined to help the youngsters and make sure they would have a chance to celebrate and to be celebrated.

The following year, in 1995, Amy donated her time and the money she received from her bat mitzvah to throw a holiday party for the children at one local shelter.

What began with 25 children, help from close family and friends, and a budget of a few hundred dollars,  has blossomed into an annual community event for over 750 children and their families from homeless shelters, foster care systems, and refugee centers.

In preparation for the annual event, Amy’s Holiday Party has partnered with the MJCCA to host a Toy Drive at the center. Both groups are asking that new, unwrapped toys be dropped off at the MJCCA’s front desk through Mon., Nov.18.

Officials suggest donations of dolls, sporting goods, games, makeup kits, trucks, and cars that cost somewhere between $10 and $14. Battery-operated gifts and toy weapons are not accepted.

Want to help?

If you’d like to donate your time, Amy’s Holiday Party needs volunteers. For additional information, go to www.cccprojects.org or call (678) 812-3984

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