The holiday spirit was on full display Saturday as children posed with Santa Claus and picked up free toys at the fifth annual toy giveaway started by Anthony Harris, founder of LIR Clothing. This year’s event was the largest ever; more than 650 toys were handed out to children in more than 500 cars that came to the drive-thru event.
Sponsored with Tyre Lodge and Bright & Early Discoveries, the giveaway was held at the Hampton Jitney parking lot on Edwards Avenue to accommodate the huge turnout. People waited on a long line that stretched nearly 100 cars deep to give children the opportunity to receive a toy.
“We had to get creative this year to ensure the community safety due to COVID-19,” Mr. Harris said via text message. “Thankfully we were able to brainstorm a drive-thru concept where we could still service the community while ensuring the safety of our volunteers and attendees.”
He added that Hampton Jitney was instrumental in allowing the vision to come together.
The toys were collected through Toys for Tots, the community and partnerships, Mr. Harris said.
The giveaway drew about a 50% increase in turnout compared to last year, which Mr. Harris attributed to families struggling during the pandemic.
Mr. Harris also organized a Thanksgiving turkey dinner giveaway last month that saw higher turnout than previous years.