The Christmas Smiles Drive


The Need

The holidays are usually a time of peace, joy, and celebration, but they can be tough on many individuals and families, particularly those fleeing abusive homes. Leaving behind everything you know and being forced to find shelter elsewhere is hard enough for adults, but the emotional toll can be even harder on children.

Through our Christmas Smiles Drive, we at the Marcus Harris Foundation aim to make the holiday season a more joyous time for children and families in transition. To meet this need, we're proud to have partnered with the Durham Crisis Response Center (DCRC), the leading provider of support for domestic violence (DV) survivors in Durham, and InterAct, the primary DV advocacy agency in Raleigh, to collect gifts for the children and families staying in emergency shelters on Christmas morning.


The Impact

To date, we've distributed hundreds of toys, books, games, and other donations, thanks to our community partners and individuals who have contributed to our collection efforts. For our 2019 drive, we're excited to announce we collected enough gifts to give out more than 25 toys per child in the shelters on Christmas morning! 

We look forward to an even bigger, more impactful drive in 2020.

Marcus & Chris's Shopping Spree!

Check it out as Marcus and his son Chris go on a fun-filled shopping spree for the Christmas Smiles Drive. They had a great time picking out a wide range of toys, books, games, and other gifts - mostly curated by the toy expert himself, Chris! 

Our Great Partners


We're incredibly grateful for the support we've received from businesses and nonprofit organizations who have helped us meet our collection goals each year, such as CommunityWorx. We look forward to strengthening these partnerships, as well as forming new ones throughout the community in the coming months and years. 

How You Can Help


Gift Drop-Off

Toys, games, books, clothes - we'll take it all! To drop-off new and gently used items for the drive, please visit the following locations:

Signature Kutz Barbershop

2024 Angier Avenue

Durham, NC  27703

Russell's Pharmacy & Shoppe

2116 Angier Avenue

Durham, NC 27703

Please check back frequently, as new drop-off locations are added throughout the year.



We're pleased to partner with businesses large and small, as well as individuals throughout the community, who share our vision for helping the children and families affected by DV. With your help, we can put smiles on the faces of as many families as possible each Christmas.


Want to contribute but can't make it to a drop-off location? Not a problem! Please feel free to make a financial donation to the drive through our secure online payment button below. Your payment info will be encrypted and protected through PayPal, the world's most trusted online merchant vendor, and the funds from your donation will be used specifically for the Christmas Smiles Drive.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns about the Christmas Smiles Drive, please feel free to contact us via the form below. We'll do our best to respond to your inquiry within 24-48 hours.