The toy drive started in the home of Dr. Elizabeth King and John Weaver 19 years ago when they lived out in West Broward because John suggested to their friends to bring toys to help underprivileged children instead of bringing them a gift to their holiday party. John and Elizabeth loved to decorate our home for Christmas so they invited lots of people to come and enjoy it. It was a great way to kick off the holidays.
In the first few years, they collected a few hundred toys every year and we went out and distributed the toys to our local children. When they moved to the beach in 2007, their neighbors in Las Olas Beach Club, became their biggest supporter. They helped them to collect thousands of toys every year which they also personally went out to distribute to the children. Of course, by this time, they knew the toy drive was growing leaps and bounds, but they never imagined it would become a community event. John was known for the elaborate Christmas village he would put together. Eventually, his beautiful Christmas village became the centerpiece for their toy drive. They called it “It Takes a Village”. They were invited to display it in the lobby of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach for several years.
It was John’s involvement with the Central Beach Alliance as a board member first and then as the President and Dr. King’s Suits, Stilettos and Lipstick Foundation that really propelled their toy drive to become what it has grown to be today. All because of the generosity of the community we are making a huge impact in our communities.
John lost his life to cancer in 2018 after a long year of a courageous fight, but Dr. King is committed to keeping her husband’s legacy going. The Annual John and Elizabeth’s Toy Drive is a true testament to their giving heart.