Dover woman continues toy giveaway tradition with drive-thru event
After going through her own journey with homelessness, La’Reka Marshall of Dover says she simply cannot enjoy the holidays until she knows she has helped some of the local families in need.
That’s why, as she planned this year’s toy giveaway, she knew the tradition must continue – even if it looked a little different.
“It’s my job to keep it going,” she said. “I know that my community needs me.”
On Saturday, Dec. 19, Marshall partnered with the nonprofit Tracy Palmer Ministries to host a drive-thru giveaway where about 30 families received toys, food for a Christmas dinner and other needed items like coats.
Throughout the year, Marshall hears from families who need toys for Christmas, and this year she expanded to help families from Sussex County and Maryland, in addition to central Delaware.
Like previous years, the fraternity Omega Psi Phi volunteered to help Marshall in her efforts. In an interview last year, longtime member William Hill talked about why the fraternity loves helping out each year.
“[You can see] the happiness and the joy that comes over them as they see little children happy,” he said.
Last year, the group helped hand out toys at Maxine’s Fashions on Governors Avenue in downtown Dover, giving away more than 100 toys.
As the new year approaches, Marshall aims to bring hope to the community. “Keep on working hard,” she said. “We’re going to get through this hard time."
To get involved or learn more about Marshall’s community events, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-233-6160.