Caye International Bank’s Chairman, Joel Nagel, Together With Pastor Ian Zaldivar Spread Cheer at Living Word Church's 10th Annual Holiday Toy Drive - The holiday season is a time of giving, of celebrating life, and spending time with those who matter the most. Through its annual Holiday Toy Drive, Living Word Church wishes to spread as much positivity and love to the people of San Pedro, bringing families together and putting the biggest smiles on children’s faces. On December 18, 2020, 1,000 toys were distributed at the Hon. Louise Sylvestre Sporting Field in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. In total, 1,000 children received a special toy from Santa, a holiday cupcake, and a hearty apple to ring in the holiday season. Words cannot fully describe the happiness and gratitude that was seen in the smiles of every single child as they received their special gift from Santa.
Families awaiting in line to receive their food baskets & holiday treats for their children
Additionally, though, this year Pastor Ian Zaldivar of Living Word Church together with Chairman Joel Nagel went further than ever before in their mission to help spread the Holiday cheer to the people of San Pedro. In addition to the toy drive, 100 food baskets, containing household essentials and grocery items, were provided to the families affected most by COVID-19 this year as a way for them to enjoy the holidays at home. “This year’s toy drive has been a little different than in previous years,” said Mr. Nagel. “There is so much need out there right now, especially for basic food supplies, that we decided to go with smaller toys for the kids and dedicate more money to helping feed families.”
“Despite the suffering COVID-19 has caused the world this year, the light of hope, peace, truth, and life shines even brighter than ever” says Pastor Ian. “The Lord has provided for the people once again to have hope. Thanks to Joel Nagel and his associates at ECI Development, The Living Word Church was once again able to bless 125 families with food baskets for Christmas and 800 children with cupcakes, apples, and Christmas toys. God is good, always!”.
(From left to right)- Pastor Ian Zaldivar of Living Word Church accepting the donation check of $60,000 from Ivan Levy, Sales & Marketing Manager of ECI Development and Chairman Joel Nagel of Caye International Bank, Ltd.
The distribution of food baskets was carried out at the event on Friday and also by way of house-to-house distribution within the neighboring communities of Ambergris Caye. To ensure everyone’s safety, social distancing was enforced and the number of guests at the event was limited.
With the help of Caye International Bank and ECI Development, fundraising efforts reached far and wide, generating an incredible BZD 60,000 for the people of Ambergris Caye. Michael K. Cobb, CEO & chairman of ECI Development said: “ECI is always honored to be able to work alongside Caye Bank to provide toys for kids in San Pedro, who might not otherwise receive them. A huge "thank you" to our shareholders, property owners, team members, and directors is in order for the donations of both money and time that made these gifts a reality. I’m never prouder of the ECI Family than when we are making a difference in our community. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.”
It is no secret that COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the tourism-based economy of Ambergris Caye and of Belize overall. Over the past year, San Pedranos have struggled to make ends meet where possible and provide for their families. In previous years, Living Word Church would provide weekly support to people in need across Ambergris Caye. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, this has sadly not been possible in 2020. Speaking about the need for further support for the people of Ambergris Caye, Chairman Nagel said: “It’s important that the current fundraising should continue beyond the holidays because need will continue. We need to make a maximum effort to keep assisting until the impact of the coronavirus on tourism in Belize has subsided.”
If you would like to contribute to the efforts of Chairman Joel Nagel & Pastor Ian Zaldivar in supporting the people of Ambergris Caye, please contact Living Word Church at 501-636-3030 or email [email protected]. For US-based, 501c3 donations, please contact Joel Nagel, [email protected].