DCHA gives 'Gift of Love' to 5,000 plus kids

More than 5000 children and youth received toys and gifts at a D.C. Housing Authority Gift of Love event held Tuesday.{ } Dec, 19, 2017 (ABC7 photo){ }

From newborns to teens, more than 5,000 children and youth received toys and gifts at a D.C. Housing Authority "Gift of Love" event on Tuesday hosted at Trinity University. Parents at the event called it a blessing.

“Everybody's on a budget this year. So it really helped out,” said Taryna Commodore.

“I'm a single mother struggling. I just lost my mother last year,” added Yvette Rivers. “I'm just trying to maintain this. Yes, it's really hard.”

The gifts at the event were collected and provided by the local non-profit A Wider Circle.

“The holidays for people we serve are often the most stressful times,” said the organization’s president and CEO Mark Bergel. “They know other people want to help but they don't know how they can get assitance. They don't want to be the family that did not provide for their kids.”

All of the items were new. Most of them were donated by individuals, with collection boxes located at schools, churches, synagogues and businesses.

Many of the gifts were also donated by D.C. Housing Authority employees.

“[They] donated items and also donated their time over the weekend to try and package up and get things over to this particular location,” said D.C. Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett.

Next year, organizers hope to double the size of the event, serving 10,000 children.