The holidays are not about material items, but watching a child's face light up as they unwrap a present is a special feeling.
What can be an expensive exchange was made financially friendly at Denver's Joy of Giving toy giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 11.
“This is our second time doing this. This event started last year during the pandemic, when the need was great. A lot of families without employment, a lot of kids that were going to go without any toys, or any joy in their holiday. And so, we wanted to provide that," said Christian Jimenez, the director of community outreach for Mayor Michael Hancock's office.
Hundreds of Colorado families had the chance to select presents for their children at the Museum of Nature and Science. Hallei Fennelly, a Colorado native, brought her children to the event.
“Every present that we get is just a load of stress off of me. It's hard... Just because we don't make what we should out there at the airport, first of all, but I also have three kids. You know, I'm a single mother and have been a single mother for a few years. My kid's dad is not in the picture. So, you know, it makes it even more stressful putting on Christmas every year," Fennelly explained.
Daniel Ville, the bilingual program coordinator for the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, said families from all over the Front Range attended Saturday's toy giveaway.
“With all these generous donations, there's a little bit over 4,000 different toys... It's been a massive operation. It's been countless trips to warehouses, to stores, and receiving pallets with boxes and boxes full of toys," said Ville.
Some of those toys were purchased by Lisa Hidalgo, Nicole Brady, Jayson Luber, and Eric Lupher as part of Denver7 Gives. Around $2,000 worth of toys were funded by Denver7, and FirstBank added $500 at the register to the toys purchased by our morning team.