Councilman, staff play Santa to needy S. Phila. kids

PHILADELPHIA - December 22, 2012

"For me, it is about seeing a smile on their face, and that's what it's all about," said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

There was no shortage of beaming smiles in Southwest Philadelphia Saturday during a toy giveaway for families in need.

8-year-old Alayah O'Sullivan left the Point Breeze Dixon House with her hands full.

"I got three books and two Legos," she said.

Over at the McCreesh Recreation Facility, 25 bikes went to some grateful kids and many appreciative parents.

"It makes a big difference because I'm a single parent," said one mother.

"It makes me feel overwhelmed that there are people out there who care," said Olga Colon.

"I was displaced in a fire, and this made a very big difference," said Tomasita Ruiz.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's office began collecting toys and clothes in October. Brown's Shop Rite, the Philadelphia School District and other businesses helped with the donations. Philadelphia Business CH2M Hill bought the bikes.

Councilman Johnson and his staff took on the role of Santa.

It has taken the councilman and his elves two days to give away all those presents. They have multiple locations, and by the end of the day, they will have helped out more than 200 families.

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