RICHMOND, Va. -- Christmas came early for some families in Central Virginia Saturday as area organizations handed out hundreds of toys.
Hundreds of families packed the Calhoun Family Investment Center in Gilpin Court Saturday as the non-profit Brothers Concerned For Gilpin (BCFG) hosted their first ever "Christmas At Gilpin" event.
“We’re just celebrating the holidays with the community, a community that we’re from," BCFG member Issac Carter said. “We’re trying to find out and make sure that we help the community grow and move forward with the city and not be left behind.”
Carter and his team spent 45 days planning the event.
“I know we prepared for at least 1500 people," Carter said.
The organization fed families before handing out toys, clothes, supplies and even raffled off bikes, all for free, for those living in Gilpin Court.
“It doesn’t take much for kids: toys. They got the plate, but they didn't want to eat, they wanted to get to the next room," Carter said.
Latisha Hayes, who has six kids, was among those who stopped by Saturday.
“It humbles me even know that someone does really care about these kids these days," Hayes said.
She added that the organizations kind act is much appreciated, especially with the uptick in gun violence happening throughout the city.
"It’s too much and everybody need to stop the violence because we’re supposed to care about each other and not knock each other down," Hayes said.
Over in Henrico County's East End, Christmas continued to come early, as Worship and Praise Church handed out nearly 300 bikes for registered families in need for their 8th annual giveaway.
“It’s all about the children today. We’re giving a little love on Christmas day," Pastor Timothy Kirven said. "The volunteers are here to share their heart and love for the community. It’s all about the community.”
“For them to not have to worry about some small things just for a day, it's a good day," Carter added.
Carter said they will be accepting donations next week at the Calhoun Community Center at Gilpin Court. Drop off times are from 12-6 p.m.