Orlando & The Freakshow

It’s that time of year again! Orlando’s annual toy drive is kicking off for its 12th year on Friday, December 1. In celebration of one of our favorite events, we thought we would look back on how this event started and how it’s grown over the past few years.

What started as a 5-day event, eventually grew to EIGHT nights of giving. But each year one thing remains the same, Orlando will climb 30 feet in the air and sleep in a tower to raise money and gifts for the children of Tampa Bay. It’s moved from St. Pete to Dale Mabry on Tampa, to now Westshore Mall. The toy drive has always benefitted The Children’s Home Network, which has been serving foster kids and families in Tampa Bay since 1892. The bikes, balls, gift cards, and dolls all are shared with thousands of children in need.

How YOU can get involved:

Getting involved is simple. You can click this link to donate online or head to 250 Westshore Plaza in Tampa (where the old Sears used to be) to drop off any donations. Or you can simply help by  spreading the word! We’ll be taking donations until Saturday, December 9 at 5pm.

Let’s take a look at how Orlando’s Toy Drive has benefitted Tampa Bay children throughout the years. 2020 seemed to have been our biggest year, but let’s see if we can break records in 2023!

  • 2014

    In just 5 days, Orlando & Tampa Bay collected 12,254 gift cards and 304 bikes for kids in need in Tampa Bay.

  • 2015

    This year, Orlando collected over 600 bikes and 8,800 gift cards! 

  • 2016

    Orlando gave us a tour of his tower MTV Cribs style.

  • 2017

    This year we expanded Orlando’s toy drive to EIGHT days. In that time, we collected 638 bikes and over 25,000 gift cards and cash!!

  • 2018

    In just 8 days, Tampa Bay donated over 30,000 gift cards & cash and 642 bikes!

  • 2019

    In 2019 we had some serious donations. In 8 days, we we’re donated 4 pods of toys, 834 bikes and $42,960 in gift cards and cash! Orlando also had a pretty special visitor this year.

  • 2020

    That pesky pandemic wasn’t going to stop us from raising donations for kids in need! Despite this crazy year, Tampa showed out and donated 3 full pod container of toys, 568 bikes and $110,417 in gift cards and cash!

  • 2021

    People drove from all over Tampa Bay and then some to donate. This year we collected $81,219 in gift cards and cash and 658 bikes, and 4 full pods of toys! 

  • 2022

    Last year Tampa Bay showed up! We were able to donate over 464 bikes, 4 FULL PODS Containers of toys and over $169,625 in cash and gift card donations.

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