The Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority had its Winter Wonderland event. Gaynelle Diaz, the organization’s director of resident and community services, is grateful the organization was still able to give children a little bit of joy this weekend. It sent out information inviting all of the families who receive housing assistance to pre-register, then was able to set appointment times throughout the weekend, so families wouldn’t have to stand in line. Volunteers then handed gifts to families as they arrived in their cars.
According to wtop.com, “Diaz has been involved with the Winter Wonderland event for 10 of the last 11 years, and she said parents were grateful the event was still able to take place. The organizer said other organizations kept calling her to see if they were still going to hold the toy giveaway. She worked with many organizations — including Toys for Tots and Hearts of Empowerment, who provided toys and donations to help the group buy gifts. In addition, Inspire Lit gave the organization age- and culturally-appropriate books to give the kids, she said.”
As per wtop.com, “The City of Alexandria and the Charles Houston Recreation Center also made sure the space was big enough and safe — not only for the families but also for the volunteers. “It’s been a blessing to serve, even in this time of COVID,” Diaz said. Five hundred families registered and 1,000 kids were served, said Diaz, who hopes next year will be even better.”
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