2015 2nd Annual Toy Drive Recap

2015 2nd Annual Toy Drive Recap


During the 2013 holiday season, we were told about a school that could not provide care packages/gifts for their students due to inadequate funding through their supporting neighborhood council. Prior to 2013, the Christmas gifting to the children occurred annually. Upon hearing the disappointing news, we were inspired to create a system to prevent similar future matters. To help with this effort, we wanted to collaborate with friends and brands to make sure these children aren't getting anything but goods for them and their families to enjoy for years to come. 

Bodega of Dreams

The experience of the 2nd Annual Toy Drive was derived from the concept of mall culture during the holiday season in alignment with our 99 Cent Store history. Titling this event as a Bodega of Dreams, describes our space as being a warehouse that invites our community to blend ideas that cater to different demographics, while also enhancing the visual culture of their brand during the holiday season.

In order to accomplish this theme, the Dream Team transformed the space by inviting brands that built installations where visitors can experience their brand’s identity, aesthetic and mission within a physical space. Dreamhaus collaborated with each of them to design and produce limited products that aligned our visions and cultures together that are currently for purchase.

CLEAN {aesthetic} is a contemporary surf/skate shop located in Playa Del Rey. They are dedicated to producing their products with a high level of sustainability and care. They manufacture their products in Playa Del Rey, use organic fabrics, collaborate with local artists in their community and take pride in their traditionalist but unique approach to California skate/surf culture.

PhreshCru was founded in East Los Angeles in 2005. Phreshcru is a clothing entity influenced by hip-hop, sports, lowriding, tattoos, and the G Funk era. It has accumulated a cult following through a number of celebrity placements on figures such as P Diddy, YG, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and many more. They produce limited quantities of each product and remain exclusive, which has contributed to them becoming a fixture in the west coast streetwear scene.

Pacific Dissent is a local Los Angeles-based contemporary art magazine that features photographers, painters and writers from around the globe. Their publication is free to the public and provides a platform that allow artists to be discovered and showcase their perspective. Their bimonthly publication currently resides in the Museum of Contemporay Art book store, in galleries such as New Image Art and ThinkSpace, and in a number of retail and book shops around Los Angeles.

(Mizzle-supervision) is a newly founded entity by Gavin McNeil that provides experiential art installations throughout Los Angeles. It is derivative of the JUST BE COOL brand, which was founded a decade ago and since its conception has been dedicated to hosting concerts and events to support burgeoning musicians and artists. Their platform has been shared with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, Nipsey Hussle and many more.

We also had the pleasure of having Chef Kayla of Piece of Kayke design carefully crafted dishes in a pop-up called “Piece of Dreams”. In our great room, live music was provided by The Sun Warshippers and Marcus Gustav and the Bodegas, while we had a Lifetouch photo installation created by the talented, Menso One, which featured a real-life Santa Claus.



When choosing an elementary school for 2015, we wanted to cater to a school in need as well as a school with high academic standards. In our Council District 9, it is no secret that the number of low-income families is unfortunately high. Through extensive research, we discovered the top five schools with the highest test scores for standardized testing. While contacting the top three schools, the best fit for our cause was Lou Dantzler Charter Elementary School. This charter school is located off of Vermont Avenue and Slauson Avenue and they also share their campus with Budlong Elementary and John Muir Middle School. Lou Dantzler's faculty was very welcoming and appreciative to have a group of people from the community showan example of how hard work pays off as a reward.

On December 17th, 2105,  we surprised 367 students with bags of clothes, hats, scarves and toys donated from all that joined us for the 2nd Annual Toy Drive. As we entered their shared auditorium space, the children were rehearsing for their Christmas recital, singing Joyful, Joyful (Sister Act 2 version) with great enthusiasm. The effort and passion of the children was heart warming, especially knowing very soon we were to pass out hundreds of bags to them because of their academic accomplishments. We were joined by Gavin McNeil of Mizzlesprvsn and Jay 305; a recording artist from the South Central area, to interact with the students on this gift giving afternoon. The assembly began with an introduction of the Dreamhaus mission, how it began, why we chose Lou Dantzler, as well as words of encouragement by co-founders Mike Reesé, Nikkolos Mohammed and a speech on courage from Gavin McNeil. The second portion of the gift giving ceremony was to pass out the gifts to the children in order by grade. Jay 305 and the Dream Team assisted in not only passing out the gifts, but also asking every student about their ambitions and goals, as they excitedly shared their answers. Lastly, we spent the afternoon interacting with the faculty and students while taking photos.

This whole experience gets more and more rewarding every year. Much like Lou Dantzler being a small school that is new to the community, we at Dreamhausunderstand as a young non-profit organization that we strive to defy limitations and statistics due to our surroundings. Dreamhaus believes in the youth helping the youth and we plan to continue in doing so not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.




Los Angeles based visual artist that investigates social constructs through objects and painting mediums.