Catholic Charities brings toy distribution to Crestview

Toy Giveaway

Courtney Baker, center, and Jennifer Garraty-Hargett, right, of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida give a sack of toys to a mother of young children Wednesday morning.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida this week ensured there will be gifts under the tree for children in lower income households.

“It is nice,” Gabriella Hendricks, a mother of two, said Wednesday as she accepted a large sack of toys from Jennifer Garraty-Hargett and Courtney Baker. “The kids are going to have nice presents.”

Parishioners at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Crestview participated in the toy giveaway program for the first time this year, Baker said.

“Many of the gift requests were on their angel tree, so they’re definitely having an impact on our community,” Baker, a Crestview resident, said. Angel trees are Christmas trees decorated with paper ornaments, often in the shape of angels, inscribed with gift wishes. Presents benefit kids represented by the charitable organization sponsoring the tree.

This is the first time the charity has brought its Christmas toy distribution to Crestview and neighboring DeFuniak Springs, Baker said.

“Many of our clients don’t have cars and can’t drive down to Fort Walton (Beach) to pick up their bags,” she said, referring to the charity’s base office. “It’s awkward for them to carry the big bags on a bus.”

Area churches, businesses and individual donors gave gifts. An unnamed Destin donor gave 40 $150 gift cards, Baker said.

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