Christmas in the City brings holiday magic to local children in need

BOSTON — An annual holiday tradition helped ensure every child in the Boston area will have a happy holiday.

Christmas in the City’s annual toy mania event welcomed nearly 1,500 families in need. Parents walked through a warehouse filled with toys, selecting gifts to give their children Christmas morning.

“Every penny counts lately, things are tough for everybody,” said Christmas in the City Volunteer Max Julien. “We bring Santa to your house free of charge!”

In addition to selecting toys, people were also given personal hygiene products, clothes, school supplies and more.

“I am a mom of six and I have four that are under six years old, so it’s very hard to make Christmas possible with so many kids and being low income,” said Yulimar Ortiz, of Dorchester. “This event always helps us every year.”

Nonprofit Christmas in the City was founded by Jake Kennedy in 1989. Their mission is to alleviate the impact of poverty and homelessness on Boston-area families.

The weekend event, Jake’s Toy Mania (previously known as Monday Mania), was renamed this year in honor of Kennedy, who passed away in 2020.

“He wanted to just give magic to children who didn’t have the opportunity to share Christmas in ways that we may know,” said Christmas in the City Volunteer Alexandra Lee. “It’s really to honor his memory and to contribute to the community in ways that are important.”

In addition to the weekend event, hundreds of toys were delivered to nearly 1,000 children living in 38 local shelters.

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