Give a Toy and Get a Smile: a charity organization in Cancun that helps tourists give

Last March I went to Mexico on a do-good travel venture which involved building a house. Here is a simpler way to do good if you are heading to Cancun, Mexico on a vacation and want to share your good fortune at being able to afford such a vacation in the first place.

When I read about this program in Home and Away magazine, it caught my attention as one way to count blessings while on a holiday jaunt. As a response to the often impoverished conditions outside tourist resorts in Cancun, Andrew and Nancy Myers began Give a Toy, Get a Smile. The organization gives toys to children in the region who may not have many toys, if any at all.

The suggestion of the organization is that you add hair ribbons, non-battery operated or non-electrical toys, school supplies, a backpack, or any other simple and useful item a child might enjoy to your bag when you pack. When you arrive in Cancun, you can drop off the items at a specific location.

In case you get to Cancun and don’t have items to donate, it’s not too late. Buy school supplies at a local store and donate those. There was a small grocery store near the house that I helped to build. The house was not really in a town, but perched up on mountainous area about thirty miles from Tijuana. Among the shelves, I saw items a child would enjoy. I imagine that while you are in Cancun you can find a box of crayons somewhere.

Here are more ideas for what you might bring to donate if you feel so moved.