Press Room

Elected Officials, Community Leaders, Celebrities and Holiday Elves joined Goya Foods to launch Hispanic Federation 12th Annual Toy Drive

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Award winner of “In the Heights,
 Tony Plana of Ugly Betty and Goya Foods Joined the Federation
to Encourage New Yorkers to Donate Toys Online

To learn more about how to participate in the Hispanic Federation’s Holiday Toy Drive, please call 1-866-HF-AYUDA (866-432-9832) or visit

New York, NY (Dec. 8, 2008) – As part of the growing holiday spirit, actors Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Award winner of “In the Heights” and Tony Plana of the popular TV hit “Ugly Betty” along with Goya Foods launched today an on-line Toy Drive for needy children at a City Hall press conference.  New York’s leading political figures, community leaders and Latino celebrities gathered to kick-off the Federation’s innovative online collection and urged New Yorkers to be extra generous this holiday season by donating new toys and books for needy children in our region. Goya Foods is the lead sponsor of the Federation’s holiday efforts.
“It's important to remember what the Holiday Season can mean for a child. It's a special time, and no boy or girl should go without a gift.  They need to know someone is thinking about them right now. Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness and generosity can help a child feel loved and cared for. I am honored to support the Hispanic Federation's efforts with their 12th Annual Toy Drive. Watching a child's eyes light up on Christmas Day when they see what Santa has brought is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season. I hope that people will be moved by the spirit of the season and give as generously as they can,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Award winner of “In the Heights.”
Goya Foods is the lead sponsor of the Federation’s holiday efforts and has donated $20,000 toward the cause. “Goya is proud to support the Hispanic Federation, who for the past 12 years has distributed over 100,000 new toys and books to thousands of children across the northeast.  This Christmas season, a time of giving, we anticipate a greater need due to the difficult economic times and we are all working hard to collect as many toys as possible,” said Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations, Goya Foods.
“New Yorkers understand better than anyone else the impact that our current economy is having on our families.  But they also understand the importance of putting a smile on a child’s face during the holidays.  It is as simple as visiting or calling our hotline at 866-HF AYUDA,” said Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation.
Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, was joined by NY Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez; New York City Comptroller William Thompson; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo; among others.
“During this financially challenging holiday season, children should not be robbed of their dreams or joys. We are asking all New Yorkers to reassess their priorities, to give and to insure that every child can smile during this joyful holiday,” said Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “I plaud the Hispanic Federation for its commitment to New York’s families and children and its efforts to alleviate families’ financial stresses. It is just as joyous to give as it is to receive. Again, I implore you to be generous.”
“At this time of year, it’s important to recognize that many New Yorkers are unable to celebrate when they are struggling to hold onto their homes and put food on the table. I am glad to join this effort so that, even in some small way, we can show big hearts and offer needy children a holiday gift,” said New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr.
"During this holiday season we must remember those families who may not have the resources to give their children the holiday they deserve. I know these are difficult economic times, but I urge my fellow New Yorkers to do what they can to donate toys and books to this campaign.  I also want to thank the Hispanic Federation for its leadership role here, and for making a difference in the lives of so many children,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.
“The smile on the face of a child or the expression of gratitude from a family member is unforgettable.  Every child deserves to celebrate the joy of Christmas.  We all should remind ourselves of the true meaning of Christmas and give a hand to our most needy and make a difference in our community,” expressed Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion.
“The economy is down and budgets are tightening, there is no better time to remind our selves that it is the spirit of family, celebration and generosity that make the holidays special. Please open up your hearts and make a donation to the Hispanic Federation’s 12th Annual Toy Drive. The toy or book that you donate will make a very special impact upon the child who receives it. Times are tougher for everyone; even if you only have a little extra to give this year I encourage you to do so.” said New York City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Co-Chair of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
Also attending the press conference were cartoon characters Maya and Miguel from Scholastic.
To learn more about how to participate in the Hispanic Federation’s Holiday Toy Drive, please call 1-866-HF-AYUDA (866-432-9832) or visit