Mao Tosi didn’t believe it when he received the first call from NBC “Today” Show personality Al Roker’s “Lend a Hand Today,” charity road trip. They told him that AK Pride — the non-profit that Tosi runs — and other local charities would receive $1.9 million worth of merchandise and donations. Tosi says it took awhile for that reality to sink in.
AK Pride works with young people to emphasize the importance of education and success in and after high school, using music, art, dance and athletics as an incentive tool.
A long list of items were donated to AK Pride, but Tosi says that not all of the items are necessarily things that his organization can use. So now he is looking at where the stuff can do the most good.
For example, the 2,400 donated strollers will go to organizations like the United Way of Anchorage and Covenant House. Also, around $100,000 worth of ham will probably go to the Alaska Food Bank.
Among the other donated items were a multitude of clothes, toys, musical instruments and many other things.
Tosi hopes that these donations will not only strengthen old partnerships, but also foster new cooperation throughout the community.
Currently, the donated items are stacked up on AK Pride’s dance floor, but Tosi is working quickly to make sure the merchandise goes to the organization where it can do the most good.
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