Annual Jingle Jam Toy Drive to raise money for International District families
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When you think of a toy drive – or spreading holiday cheer – you probably don’t think of a downtown Albuquerque nightclub. But one man is trying to change that.
In the cold light of day, the 401 Nightclub does not look super inviting. But like the tattered front door, Josh Perez says:
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” said Perez.
Josh Perez is a promoter and says this Friday there will be a concert for a cause.
“When you see these people smiling, you know you did your job,” Perez said.
It’s the 10th annual Jingle Jam Toy Drive. The cover charge will be a new toy or $20 – all going to help people like Brenda Marquez.
“It felt good, it touched my heart,” said Marquez.
Perez met Marquez at the Westside Homeless Shelter when she says she was there with her 6-month-old son.
“We ended up getting thrown out of our apartment because of a domestic violence situation. So we ended up at the shelter,” said Marquez.
Perez – armed with presents from a previous Jingle Jam Toy Drive – stepped in.
“Josh, he gave gifts to all the kids who were on the family side. He helped all of us out with food,” Marquez said.
“I do this because I want to make it better. When I was younger, I didn’t have everything. Uh, you know, it took a lot for my mom as a single mother to be there for me and my brother,” said Perez.
He says, this year, the plan is to take the presents to the people in the International District.
“When we come together as one community, we’re stronger together,” said Perez.
While the venue may not be the place you’d picture a children’s toy drive:
“Not everyone’s perfect, everyone’s made mistakes and, you know, tried to better themselves,” Perez said.
The feeling of gratitude and helping others is the same everywhere.
“We just want to give back, and we just want to bring some joy,” said Perez.
It’s a hip-hop show with others like a former LA Laker, Kareem Rush, who played with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
For more information on ticket pricing for the Jingle Jam, click here.