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Arizona’s Heart & Sol: a man’s mission to give every child in Tucson a toy for Christmas

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 7:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This holiday season, Matthew Kuntz is stepping in as Santa’s helper. He’s working with businesses and local organizations to hold “Tucson’s biggest toy drive.”

“I don’t have any rhyme or reason honestly. I sold my business recently, so I have the time and I have found the resources to make this happen and I’m just happy to do it,” Kuntz said.

Last year, he had hoped to hold a toy drive for the Vail community, but the pandemic complicated things. So, he is making up for it this year. He wants every child in Tucson to have a toy.

He’s also partnering with More Than a Bed and FostAdopt Connections. They’re both nonprofits that help kids and families in foster care. If all goes as planned, every kid the nonprofits support will have a gift for the holidays.

“I’m not stopping there. So if there are any families in need, they can go to the website. If they know of a family in need, they can sponsor them and they can do it anonymously,” he said.

FostAdopt Connections primarily works with teenagers in group homes. Since they are not with a foster family or parent, a staff member typically takes care of them.

“What we have really focused on is making sure that, even if they wake up and there’s only three of them there and they have nowhere to go, that they have something to open,” said Emily Weeks, director of programs at FostAdopt Connections.

More Than a Bed serves around 2,300 children of all ages in the community. They provide essentials to foster families, but the holidays can be a difficult time for these kids. Even one toy from the toy drive could make the season merrier.

“It’s what we need. We need to all come together and try to make this better. These kids coming out of foster care, need things made better,” Grace Stocksdale, the executive director of More Than a Bed, says.

If you would like to donate to the toy drive, you can find more information here.

If you have someone you think embodies the “Heart and Sol” of Tucson, you can nominate them here.

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