Lin-Manuel Miranda Helps Keep Three Kings Day Tradition Alive
¡Llegaron los Reyes!
At more than 40 community events across Puerto Rico, children who have been affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria celebrated Three Kings Day this year with more than 36,000 toys purchased and donated by Toys"R"Us® customers. The "Toys4PuertoRico" drive was launched on Tuesday, December 12 by award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hispanic Federation, Toys"R"Us, Telemundo, and R.Evolución Latina.
In addition to those children receiving gifts on the island, displaced Puerto Ricans on the mainland U.S. were excited to unwrap an additional 3,000 donated toys at Three Kings Day events in cities across the country.
"Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of donors throughout the world and our phenomenal partner organizations, we blew the roof off our initial goal of collecting 10,000 toys for kids from Puerto Rico," said Lin-Manuel Miranda. "I remember how special Three Kings Day was for me as a kid, with images of camels and kings roaming around my house with presents. I'm so proud that so many people from across the world have come together in the spirit of unity to make sure that families from Puerto Rico can celebrate together on this festivity."
In Puerto Rico, donated toys were sorted by Toys"R"Us employees on the ground and distributed to more than 40 locations across the island thanks to a grant from JUSTABUNCHOFROADIES.ORG. The events, organized by Hispanic Federation and R.Evolución Latina partner agencies, featured dancing and storytelling.
Telemundo's "El Poder En Ti" (The Power in You) corporate social responsibility initiative, the official media partner for the "Toys4PuertoRico" campaign, donated $30,000 to support the festivities. Additional support was provided by Comunicad, former New York City Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Ramón Tallaj, M.D.
"Our hope is that Puerto Rican children and their families can experience the thrill of Three Kings Day and return to a sense of normalcy during this tumultuous time of recovery," said José Calderón, President of Hispanic Federation. "The tremendous outpouring of support and toy donations will ensure that we reach kids who have been impacted on every part of the island and the mainland in celebrations that capture the true sentiment of the holidays."
In addition to events in Puerto Rico, there where celebrations in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Wallingford, Danbury, and Orlando for displaced Puerto Ricans. Toys for these events were donated by Toys"R"Us, Wildlife Conservation Society, Just Play, LLC., and FAO Schwarz.
In New York City, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hispanic Federation on hand to distribute toys to children from nearly 50 families. Miranda read the story of the Three Kings to the children in attendance, who also received total experience tickets for families to visit any of the Wildlife Conservation Society parks which include the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium.
Since September 20, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and devastated the island, Hispanic Federation and Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family have worked together to raise money and awareness for the 3.5 million American citizens whose lives were upended and changed forever. The outpouring of support from the rest of the country and around the world has been incredible, and has enabled Hispanic Federation and its partners on the ground to provide millions of pounds of food, clean water, basic medical care and other emergency support services to all the 78 municipalities on the island.