Elfrid Payton Hosts Second Annual “Elf’s” Toy Workshop Celebration
By Josh Cohen
Dec. 21, 2017
ORLANDO – Ever since he arrived in Orlando more than three years ago, Elfrid Payton has been an ideal role model for children. With a passion for giving back to the community and seeing smiles on kids’ faces, Payton hopes he can make a positive impact on as many children’s lives as possible.
Empowering youth motivates Payton, who from a young age has seen what mentors can do for a child’s well-being and faith.
Payton’s latest endeavor to inspire children and boost their spirits came on Thursday when he, through the Elfrid Payton Foundation, hosted his Second Annual “Elf’s” Toy Workshop Celebration at Hungerford Elementary School.
This holiday event featured a “Selfie with Elfie" Snow Globe photo station, holiday music, holiday characters, and toy and book giveaways. Payton and the “elves” teamed up with Hungerford students to wrap up their Christmas school play and each child received gifts and Papa John’s Pizza.
“Just happiness, being able to put a smile on somebody else’s face, I think that is one of the best gifts in the world,” Payton said.
“It feels good to get that kind of response,” he added about the enthusiasm from the students when he first walked into the cafeteria. “I think they are going to cherish the moment. It makes me really happy.”
Payton hopes this event will also encourage each child to read during the holiday break and stay focused on their academics. Considering two of his grandparents were teachers, Payton was raised in an environment where education was paramount.
“Stay in school, first of all, get good grades,” he said. “As much as you can, help others. Be respectful, respect your elders.”
Ecstatic to see her students so cheerful, Letecia Foster, principal at Hungerford Elementary, was incredibly grateful when she found out Payton wanted to assist at her school.
“Have him come out to show them that they are special and that he’s aware that they are here, that means a lot to the community of Eatonville,” she said. “We are so proud to have him here. It’s just amazing to have Elfrid come out. I just love it. I just absolutely love it. It just melts my heart. It’s just an experience that we will never forget.”
While active in the community all year round, it’s always extra special for Payton during the holiday season. Last week, Payton, Nikola Vucevic and Marreese Speights teamed up with PepsiCo. at a local Walmart to help take 100 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida on a holiday shopping spree.
“It’s special because the holidays are all about family,” Payton said. “Not just me, but the Orlando Magic organization wants to be part of the community, wants to be known as a team that is part of the community.”