Spread Some Holiday Love to Lotus House

Feeling generous this holiday season? Spread some festive cheer, and donate to our 2018 Holiday Collection. This year’s drive will benefit Lotus House, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children.

Lotus House Holiday Drive Be Love Movement

Photo courtesy of Lotus House

Lotus House was formed to support holistic, innovative solutions to bring an end to child and family homelessness. The organization recognizes the fastest growing segment of homeless in our country are single, female heads of household with young children. With trauma-informed, evidence based, best practices, Lotus House empowers women and children to heal, learn, grow and blossom into who they are meant to be.

Be Love Movement Lotus House

Photo courtesy of Lotus House

We are collecting new baby goods and new, unwrapped toys until December 17th. Check out the full list of acceptable, new items below to learn what you can donate.


  • New diapers (size 4, 5, 6)
  • New hypoallergenic baby toiletries
    • Full-size bottles of baby wash
    • Full-size bottles of baby lotion
  • Bottles
  • Teething rings
  • Stroller/car seat combinations
  • Double strollers
  • New car seats

*Please no baby powder or wipes*


  • New toys and gifts (for ages 0-17 years)

*Please leave toys and gifts unwrapped*

To donate, please contact Cristina at cristinamalfonso@gmail.com or Caty at caty.villavicencio98@gmail.com. The deadline to donate items is December 17th!

For more information on Lotus House and all the hearts this organization touches, visit their website: lotushouse.org.

Lotus House Holiday Drive Be Love Movement

Words from Be Love Movement Team

The Magic of a Toy Drive


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote

Growing up, I loved everything about Christmas. I loved the way freshly baked gingerbread smelled coming out of the oven. I loved putting ridiculously tacky Christmas sweaters on my Maltese, Sassy. I loved the yearly trips to Mall of the Americas to fight my cousins for a seat on Santa’s lap. But most of all, I loved waking up on Christmas morning to a sea of presents under my decadently adorned Christmas tree. I didn’t care for the actual gifts as much as I cared for what each gift represented. Somehow, someway, all of my presents endured magical travels to reach their final destination: my living room. Each present had a purpose and a story.


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote

As I unwrapped my gifts every year, I would always catch a glimpse of my parents’ expressions. Papi would sit on the couch admiring from afar with a giant smile on his face, while Mamá was right next to me, front and center, wanting a close play-by-play of each unveiling. Over the years, these Christmas’ have gotten me plenty of toys, but the only memories I keep with me are the ones that encompass the way those presents made me feel.

In 2008, I was rushed to the hospital with terrible back pains like never before. The doctors later discovered I’ve had a kidney problem, hiding quietly undiscovered since birth. Being 14 years old, spending my Christmas break in the hospital was not an ideal situation and something I was not looking forward to. Due to the severity of my condition, I was forced to stay in the hospital for almost two weeks, missing my school’s 8th grade Christmas play and all my holiday celebrations. For the first time in my life, I had to face the reality that Christmas wasn’t going to be the same old holiday I had grown to love.

One day during the second week of my hospital stay, I was laying down and watching the usual string of television channels with my mom. Suddenly, a group of cheerful people dressed in holly jolly Christmas attire came into my room with smiles from ear to ear. They sang all my favorite Christmas songs to me and my mom and gave me a gift. Truthfully, it was the happiest I had been during my hospital stay. All because of an unexpected act of kindness from pure strangers. The holiday spirit they carried through their melodies and thoughtful present grew my heart, and my kidneys, three sizes that day. It made me think about all the time and effort that went into planning their small toy drive, helping me appreciate the role of a volunteer.

Just last month, I began to have a pain in my back that mimicked the one I had back in 2008. I prayed this Christmas would be different and, there would be no need to go to the hospital. Thankfully, after a lot of rest and medication, the pain went away. Even so, my thoughts and memories of my last hospital stay didn’t fade into the past. This was the moment I decided to give back. There was something I could do to spread the holiday magic to kids deserving of a bit of spirit. A toy drive would do the trick.

I began posting about my toy drive on Facebook and Instagram through my personal accounts. Friends liked and shared my post, creating a small buzz around our community. I also reached out to the tenants of my office building, asking to leave a toy collection bin at the front of the office lobby. Schools even got involved, like Glades Middle School, as they hosted a mini collection on behalf of the drive. Within three weeks, I received over $600 in cash donations as well as over 200 toys from local donors just like you. The response from my community has been a huge shock and a major blessing. I could’ve never imagined the success of this toy drive, bringing my mind back to those happy feelings I felt when I opened presents on Christmas morning. This time the magic was coming not from receiving, but purely from giving.


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote

On December 17th, I had the privilege to go to my first toy drive event at Baptist Hospital of Miami to give out a batch of fresh gifts. My team and I were able to distribute almost 100 toys to ages ranging from one week old to 16 years old. Experiencing the magical jaw-drops, ooo’s and ahh’s made all our hard work worthwhile. The second distribution on December 22nd took place at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, as we worked with a group of children at an arts and crafts session. Coloring, glueing and creating together made for an even more special event, ending with presents given to each and every miniature artist. The final distribution will unfold at Kendall Regional Medical Center on Christmas Eve – perfect timing for a whimsical holiday surprise.


Photo courtesy of Angelina Capote

Again, I couldn’t be more thankful for all the wonderful souls who’ve come together to make this Christmas miracle come true. My only wish was to touch the heart of at least one child spending the holidays at the hospital, as I once did so long ago. May the selfless and magical Christmas spirit continue, and the thoughtful acts of kindness spread into the new year.

Until 2017.

Words from Angelina Capote