2k toys, bikes given away at Jarel’s Toy Chest

16th annual event draws hundreds of families

Author: Cory Smith, Reporter, csmith@ksat.com
Published On: Dec 22 2012 10:24:38 PM CST
Christmas Tree closeup with ornaments and tinsel

Hundreds of families lined up as early as 6 a.m. Saturday to get their hands on one of the 2,000 toys and bikes that were given away at the 16th annual Jarel’s Toy Chest.

The giveaway gives less fortunate families an opportunity to give their children some semblance of a Christmas.

“This is what we do to give back to our community and to all of the children that are in need,” said Portia Brooks Vaughn, co-pastor at the New Life Christian Center. The church’s congregation organizes the event, which has become one of, if not the biggest, holiday toy giveaways in San Antonio.

“It went from 200 children to 500 to 1,000,” said volunteer LaSalle Vaughn. “Now we have about 3000 families that come as early as 4:30 in the morning and stand in line for a program that starts at 2 p.m. to receive a toy.”

Some families came from as far as Laredo and Del Rio Saturday, and the children that were patient enough to wait got more than a cheap toy.

“They come from everywhere because they've heard that we give wonderful toys,” Portia Vaughn said. “This is not something where we just go and spend one or two dollars, we give them a wonderful thing that they can open up and really think that someone really cares about them.”

For a list of recent stories by Cory Smith, click here.