By Paul Taylor
For the 14th consecutive year, the Southwest Comm-Unity Annual Christmas Toys for Tots drive and distribution was another huge success. Held on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, this year’s event distributed over 4,000 toys to families throughout Ward 6.
The generous supply of toys also enabled James Creek, Syphax Gardens, and Greenleaf Gardens and Annex to hold mini toy giveaways for families who were unable to attend the drive.
A special thanks to Westminster Presbyterian’s Reverand Brian Hamilton for hosting this year’s event again, the U.S. Marines, SWBID, SWNA Youth Activities Task Force, Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF), area church members and dedicated volunteers, including Ayisha Lee, DC Area Toys for Tots Representative.
The Southwest teens would especially like to thank the Friends of Southwest DC and The Wharf for their generous donation of $25 gift cards to over 70 teens. Gift cards were also provided by Westminster Presbyterian, Christ United Methodist, Riverside Baptist, Second Union Baptist, and St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, which were donated directly to the Southwest resident council presidents. Also, thanks to Friends of Southwest DC and The Wharf for their generous donations which helped to purchase additional toys, baby pacifiers, bottles, onesies, blankets, socks, long johns, hats, scarfs, and gloves for area families with infants and toddlers and the families at the AYA Shelter who expressed their gratitude as well.
Founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, Toys for Tots is an annual program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.
“With the pandemic continuing to upend our lives and create a greater hardship for the needy and less fortunate, Southwest and the surrounding jurisdictions are so fortunate to have the Southwest Comm-Unity to champion this effort each year,” said Thelma D. Jones, Founder, TDJBCF, and Chair, SWNA Youth Activities Task Force. “I am proud to represent two organizations for this annual worthwhile and important effort, as every child deserves to be happy, especially around this time of the year.”
Paul Taylor is a longtime former Southwest resident and the Founder and Executive Director of Southwest Comm-Unity. Each year, the Southwest Comm-Unity holds a well-attended annual community-wide gathering of individuals and families representing old and new Southwest residents.