The Oozemas Toy Drive: the Most Wonderful Time of Year
January 07, 2021
This December, the Ooze Foundation hosted its second annual “Oozemas” Holiday Toy Drive for underprivileged Detroit kids. Although we weren’t able to throw a big party with Santa, crafts and a luncheon, but we set up shop outside and had everyone drive right up to receive their gift(s).
Oozemas was not just a one-day event, but more of a month-long process for the Foundation team. 800 gifts is a lot of gifts! It took multiple shopping trips of carts and carts full of toys for boys and girls aged 0-18. Separately, we also assembled gift packages for a Detroit group home. Donations from 6 local dispensaries and the team from www.gotosmokeshop.com helped us meet our gift amount goal.
“This is one of our favorite events of the year,” said Ooze Foundation Event Coordinator Shelly Hurwitz. “To see the joy on the kid’s faces and hear the words of gratitude from parents made standing in the cold for a few hours more than worth it. It warms our hearts to help make the holidays a little brighter for these wonderful people.”
Rather than setting out donation bins in the participating dispensaries like we did last year, we did all the shopping ourselves to minimize any potential contamination due to COVID. One week before the event, a big group got together on Saturday to tackle the massive task of wrapping all the presents.
The gifts were sorted by age and gender to make giving them out as seamless as possible. Wrapping stations were set up in the Ooze Wholesale warehouse where our worker elves got every last gift wrapped in just a few hours.
Oozemas became a drive-thru event this year. The 9th and 5th Precincts of the Detroit Police Department provided security and helped to direct traffic and keep the line of cars moving. Packed full of gifts, we lined our trucks up in the parking lot and checked in cars one by one. Our team put the gifts directly into their trunks while wearing masks to follow COVID protocols. Fox 2 Detroit also stopped by to check out the action.
“Although we weren’t able to speak face-to-face or hug anyone who attended Oozemas this year,” said Hurwitz, “knowing that these children will wake up Christmas morning with gifts under the tree makes it all worth it. The pandemic has made things so much harder for these families, so it is truly an honor for our team to take just a little stress off their shoulders for the holidays.”
The second annual Oozegiving Thanksgiving food drive was a success! We increased our meal total from 200 to 250, providing a turkey, bag full of side dishes, and a pie for families who may have otherwise gone without.
For the third year, the Ooze Foundation has collected funds from pink Ooze products sold in October to benefit the Shades of Pink Foundation. We are thrilled to be able to donate almost $10,000 more than last year, which will benefit 15 local patients and their families.
Ooze Wholesale and the Shelby Jane Seyburn Foundation teamed up again to host the Oozemas Christmas Toy Drive at Impact Church in Detroit. Christmas gifts were handed out to 500 kids, with activities and crafts, photos with Santa, and a lunch were provided for everyone who came.