C24 Plus Toy Drive is a Merry Holiday Affair

C24+ President Manisha Gandhi (center) and Joya Shukla (right) delivered the toys to the Manager of the Foster YMCA  Photos: Bijay Dixit, Unique Photo Images.

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By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: What could be better on an overcast, cold day than a chance to while away the afternoon in the company of like-minded friends? And it is an especially warm coziness when they come together to make a difference in the community they live in. This time around, the members of Club 24 Plus wanted to show their concern for the little young ones among us who are less fortunate and may not find a toy to play with come Christmas eve.

C24+ tried a new way to show the involvement of Indians with the community they have flourished and made their homes in. In an idea borrowed from the Holiday Spirit, for the first time, the C24+ members each brought along a toy for a drive to collect colorful and entertaining objects for disadvantaged kids. The drive was organized by Joya Shukla and coordinated by others in the outreach committee, including Mary Grace Landrum, wife of Judge Michael Landrum of the 113th Civil District Court of Harris County.

The C24+ Executive Committee and event coordinators with President Manisha Gandhi at the luncheon at Brio Tuscan Grill on Sunday, December 9. 

About 50 couples attended the Holiday lunch held by the C24+ at Brio Tuscan Grill in City Centre on Sunday, December 9 on the terrace behind heavy canvas to hold back the chill of the afternoon before retiring for lunch indoors and photos (by Bijay Dixit of Unique Photo Images) in front of the brilliantly decorated Christmas tree in the lobby.

C24+ President Manisha Gandhi spoke of the programs that the group has participated in during the year and how much she has enjoyed being part of this dynamic group that has among its members many who also support the community’s premier charity, Pratham. “The true passion of the members is to serve the greater community,” said Gandhi as she recognized her other Board members and other key individuals like event co-organizer Nimal Bhagat.

After the luncheon, Gandhi, Shukla and Landrum packed the toys into cars and drove down to the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA on West 34th (near the Hare Krishna Temple) which is a collection point for toys and a distribution center to get them to the kids most in need.