Toy Drive provides gifts to kids

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Shanika Hawkins can’t stand to see a child go without Christmas.

Realizing there are families in Bainbridge who can’t afford to give their kids a proper Christmas morning, presents and all, she and her family took it on themselves to provide them with one.

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It started last year with a bunch of gifts loaded in a car and Hawkins rolling around town dropping them off to families in need.

To find the families that were in most need, Hawkins used social media to make announcements and search for people who were struggling financially this holiday season.

This year she set up at the Hampton Inn on Tallahassee Highway. Gifts, cookies and drinks were set out for the kids, who came into the room with wide eyes and even wider smiles.

Hawkins’ goal was to start with helping families in the Bainbridge community—neighbors, classmates, students.

“Everything that was donated from our community, we keep it in the community,” Hawkins said. “Everything we have here, if it wasn’t purchased by us personally, it was donated from people right here—businesses, others in the community, teachers, nurses.”

Reaper’s Wear, L&G, Perfect Platinum Salon and Cutting Edge Salon all donated toys to Hawkins’ Community Toy Drive.

Family members and friends of Hawkins wore red shirts and Santa hats while they helped kids pick out gifts set up on tables around the room.

“Sometimes we’ll get individuals who will say, ‘These people are struggling, this person lost their job,’ whatever the case may be,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins hopes the event will continue to grow next year.