Children in Need Get a Special Chirstmas. Parents Too.

Inside “Santa’s Village,” plushy stuff animals hang over barrels of toys, blue bookshelves are stacked with building blocks, puzzles and the sparkling pink dress-up boxes dazzle the children enjoying a toy shopping spree on this Christmas Day.

“It’s a room full of the best toys,” said Mai Lee with The Midnight Mission.

Thousands of toys perfectly on display, the way they would be in a boutique toy store, waited to be chosen by homeless little kids and children living in poverty.

The toy giveaway started at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning with a line of kids and parents wrapped around the block. By almost noon, the line had shortened but still young children sat on the sidewalk waiting for a chance to walk through the toyland.

Staff and volunteers at the Mission say they wanted to recreate the idea of Christmas morning for the children whose families can’t afford to shower them with gifts.

Joyful shouts of “Whoa!” and “Look!” echoed through the crowded maze of toys where each child, ushered by a volunteer, picked out one book, two toys, a sports ball and a stuffed animal.

“I like the look on their faces that they have something that they need. It just satisfies me,” said teenaged volunteer Tony Gasco.

The Midnight Mission separates mom and dad from child when it’s time to choose toys.

“The parent usually directs the child to get what they think the child wants,” said Lee. “We separate them so that the child gets exactly what they want”…

Read More: Erika Aguilar, scpr.org

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