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Gift drive to benefit 750 homeless children

COVID-19 may have put a hold on in-person events, but it hasn’t prevented local event planner Tiffany Gravelle from organizing a holiday gift drive for homeless children within the Albuquerque Public Schools.

Gravelle, owner of Hello Tiffany, launched the Make Merry Project to distribute new, unwrapped gifts, books and stocking stuffers to 750 children.

The drive has collected enough gifts for 300 kids.

“It was a significant loss for me to lose my business and lose my income, and have to restart,” Gravelle said. “The joy and the hope that focusing on the Make Merry Project has given me, to really focus my energies and my talents into the community in a meaningful way. (It) has been like my life raft.”

By coupling her 25 years of event planning and volunteer experience with the APS system, Gravelle said she hopes to give youngsters up to the age of 18 a “holiday experience.”

Donations such as new toys for younger kids, such as baby dolls or “Star Wars” action figures, would be appreciated, as would new books, bikes and makeup sets for older teens, she said.

Donations can be made online at MakeMerryProject.com or dropped off at any Realty One of New Mexico office.

Albuquerque residents can donate at two drive-by donation events:

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Botanica Skin and Brow Studio, 2730 San Pedro NE, Suite B2.

• 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of La Cueva High School, 7801 Wilshire NE.

“Stay safe, stay close to your family and give wherever you can,” Gravelle said.

The deadline for gift donation is Dec. 8. Gifts will be distributed Dec. 12.

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