Jacksonville, FL (December 25, 2021) – It was a huge success and they well surpassed their goal of 1,000 toys, making the family’s first Christmas without Michael a little easier to bear.
Many across Northeast and Central Florida were saddened to hear of the passing of Michael Alberico, and were eager to help the grieving family this holiday season. From Publix grocery stores to dentist offices and hair salons, it was a full-court press from the communities who have known the Alberico family for years to help them meet and exceed their goal.
Started as a project two years ago by Michael’s niece Gianna as part of her Cinderella Program pageant work, after Michael’s passing the family refocused their efforts, naming it in his honor as ‘Michael’s Ohana’. Netting more than 1,700 toys this year, worth an estimated $20,000 according to his family, they made the delivery to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Michael’s name.
“We had a great deal of support from the Ormond Beach area where Michael lived and Jacksonville community,” said Michael’s sister Jennifer Capri, who has been leading the efforts with the help of her children, Gianna, Bobby, and Anthony Capri.
“It is with great honor our family can give knowing so many kids in the hospital will be receiving an item to make things a little easier. My parents understand first hand what it’s like to have a child in the hospital over the holidays and it’s not fun as one can imagine. Anything we can do to make it just a little more bearable for the entire family, it’s not just the child who is affected by the holiday stay, but the entire family,” she said.
“Michael lived his life with such happiness and brought joy to so many we want to continue this through his legacy. I am overwhelmed by the community response from Daytona Beach to Jacksonville and everywhere in between,” said Capri.
“We are so grateful for all those who donated in the name of Michael, many who were new partners this year and did not hesitate when we asked if they would like to join the Holiday Toy Drive. It has not been an easy road for anyone these past few years and I truly believe people were ready for some good things to happen. Bring on the good news and spread it through these communities. That is what Michael did, and his memory will continue to spread joy. The impact his life made is immeasurable and his legacy will live long past what he did. The future is very bright for Michael’s ‘Ohana and we all look forward to helping many more for years to come.”
The direct campaign is still open and has raised close to $1,000 so far, with funds slated for the Behavioral Health Department at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.