Families lined up early Sunday for the 24th annual Christmas Eve gift giveaway hosted by Huntington Station-based Toys of Hope and The American Giving Project.
“This event is all about the families that have been forgotten,” said Melissa Doktofsky, founder of the volunteer-operated nonprofit. “We don’t say no to anyone.”
Those who arrived early for the three-hour event waited their turns in the cold to select gifts from among the new toys, shoes and household goods that had been donated.
Elijah Robinson, 10, of Uniondale, was first in line for his second year at the toy giveaway.
“He’s very, very excited for Christmas,” his mother, Sarah Robinson, said. “Normally we would not have this opportunity to get some gifts because I’ve been out of work. Because of this great charitable contribution from Toys of Hope, we are very, very thankful . . . for helping us out this season to put a smile not just on my kid’s face, but I’m sure many kids’ faces.”
Elijah last year received a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and a remote control car at the Toys of Hope giveaway. He said he played with both often over the past year and would donate those toys to charity now.
He said his Christmas wish was “just to be with my family,” adding his first choice for a toy would be a Nintendo Switch.
“But it’s OK if I don’t get one,” he said.