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Law firm hosts holiday giveaway for needy

Brentwood resident Osorno shops for free Christmas gifts

Brentwood resident Osorno shops for free Christmas gifts her children at Liga De Justicia, a law firm in Brentwood. The Long Island-based business is providing Latino families with incomes beneath the federal poverty level with a free Christmas shopping spree for their children. (Dec. 21, 2013) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Maid Fanny Hernandez of Brentwood bustled out of a strip-mall office Saturday with gift-wrapping paper under one arm, a boxed Hess truck under another and plastic bags teeming with more children's toys dangling from her hands.

For Hernandez -- mother of 5-, 7- and 8-year-olds -- Christmastime poses a struggle.

"I don't have a lot of houses to clean, so I don't have a lot of income," Hernandez, who cleans homes across Suffolk, said through an interpreter.

Enter the six-attorney firm of Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar -- known as Liga De Justicia -- which converted its practice on Brentwood Road on Saturday into a yuletide bonanza, with about $7,500 worth of toys bought with funds mostly donated by the firm.

Beginning just before 11 a.m., the first of the 30 families, with a total of more than 80 children, filed in for free toys.

"This is a community that we get a lot of our clientele from, and it's important for us to be able to give back," said a firm partner, William V. Ferro, a Brooklyn Law-educated attorney who opened his practice in 1989.

The parents, mostly mothers, could choose five or six toys per child -- SpongeBob SquarePants Bikini Bottom Paint Sets, Transformers Prime Beast Hunters action figures, Rubik's Cubes, Kid Connection Princess Castles, Twist-n-Loop Rubber Band Bracelet Makers and more.

The families were sent by Pronto of Long Island, a Suffolk-based charity on whose board Ferro serves.

Mary, a real estate agent and mother of six who lives in Bay Shore, has fallen on hard times because her middle-aged husband is suffering from early dementia.

Mary, the mother of 10-year-old twin girls, asked that her surname not be published to keep the kids from being teased. She opted not to stay for a contest where a parent could win a child's bicycle.

"I have twins," she said, half-smiling. "If I bring one bike home, we'll be on the news for something else."

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