Living Word Church -Toy Drive

The Living Word Church Toy Drive in San Pedro, Belize

The Living Word Church (LWC), located in San Pedro, Belize, was founded by the minister and pastor Ian Zaldivar and is led by him, and his wife Lourdes Zaldivar. They have Sunday service and host various events throughout the year. There is one in particular, the annual toy drive, which has been happening over the last 9 years, for a special occasion, of course, Christmas. Ambassador Joel Nagel and board members of the Church, have been helping to this cause in some ways, especially with funding efforts. 

This cause has not only served to give out toys to less privileged kids but also to give out food to families in San Pedro who needed the most. 




Minister and pastor Ian Zaldivar

The beginning

Pastor Ian said that upon receiving the calling to serve in the ministry, his desire was to contribute and support those who possessed very little or nothing at all (The San Pedro Sun). At first, he was able to give 15 low-cost toys to children for Christmas, then the next season he was able to hand out 40, and for the last 12 years, he has been able to give 13,000 toys throughout the island. Around 13 years ago, Pastor Ian met Joel Nagel and that’s when everything changed 360º. He said that Joel asked “how he could help” (The San Pedro Sun). Throughout the years, he has been helping with contributions of large sums and expanding the cause to more kids.

Toys bring happiness

The goal of this project is to bring happiness to children by offering toys during the most important holiday of the year in San Pedro. During the event on December 21st, 2018, many families and children were present at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex in which they were served drinks and food. A total of 1,100 toys were given out to all the children in the community. Christmas is the perfect time to share and celebrate with others, by showing love and support to those around you.

On December 20th, 2021, after the start of the pandemic, another toy-drive event took place supported by Attorney Joel Nagel and Michael Cobb. These two businessmen were able to raise funds of more than 74,000 BZD through donation campaigns from friends, clients, and shareholders; ensuring another joyful Christmas for underprivileged children. About 1000 kids received toys in Ambergris Caye, Belize, which were for different little and big kids, including baby toys and educational games. This quantity was also used to give out 125 food bags, which especially during the pandemic helped a lot of people who couldn’t afford it at the moment.

The event brought the community together in prayer.

Toys drive funds

The church has been coordinating the logistics and all that needs to make the toy drive happen, and 2018, was no exception. Many people come as volunteers from different parts of Belize to volunteer as it keeps growing every year. Various organizations and renowned people made significant contributions, Joel Nagel Caye Bank chairman and Nagel & Associates, LLC owner, and Michael Cobb the director of ECI, ended up contributing more than 33,000.00 BZD.

Vulnerability and social responsibility


Many situations in life shape people’s personalities along their lives. This is the case of Joel Nagel, who stated that he experienced a childhood of poverty on a farm and grew up without a father (The San Pedro Sun). This is an experience that has motivated him to contribute to the Toy Drive cause throughout the time. He even said “Making sure these children get a toy at Christmas is personal” (The San Pedro Sun). His dedication to making a positive impact stems from a deep understanding of the challenges faced by others due to his own background, shaping his empathetic approach toward social responsibility.