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Gifts Needed for Children in Domestic Violence Program

New toys or gift cards can be donated now through Dec. 17.

The Alexandria Domestic Violence Program is seeking donations of new toys or gift cards to help make Christmas special for children in families the program serves.

All of the program’s clients have been affected by intimate relationship violence, said city social worker Shannon McGregor. The donated gifts will be distributed to parents at a Dec. 18 Christmas party.

“By giving to this party, they’re providing a special gift to one of these children,” McGregor said. “They have nothing. When they leave, they’re not able to bring all the toys they have, all the clothing they had.

“It’s amazing to see all these children light up when they see all the things we have provided to them at this party.”

More than 60 families are invited to the party, which includes dinner and activities for the children while they await Santa’s arrival. Many times these are the only gifts that the children receive.

Donations of new toys or gift cards from stores such as Target, Old Navy, Walmart, CVS, Toys R’Us, Sears, JCPenny, restaurants and grocery stores are especially in need. Gifts should remain unwrapped. Local residents can also provide wrapping paper, which will be distributed to each parent at the party.

The parents then take the toys home to the children, often to be opened on Christmas Day, McGregor said. “They don’t know what’s in the bag, but they know it’s special,” she said.

Donations of food, arts and crafts materials and books for the children make the Christmas party possible. This year, the families will enjoy live entertainment from Santa’s Frosty Follies of the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center.

Donations are accepted at the main office, 421 King Street, Suite 400, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m, Monday through Friday. Gifts can also be picked up. The deadline for having unwrapped gifts delivered or picked up is 5 p.m. Dec. 17.

For additional information, call 703-746-4911 or email shannon.mcgregor@alexandriava.gov.

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