Dover woman continues toy giveaway tradition with drive-thru event

Emily Lytle
Dover Post

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.

A volunteer from the fraternity Omega Psi Phi delivers a bike to a family in the drive-thru Dec. 19.

“It’s my job to keep it going,” she said. “I know that my community needs me.”

GIVING:Spreading kindness and love with toy giveaway

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.

Volunteers serve food to families in need during a drive-thru toy giveaway in Dover Dec. 19. The giveaway was organized by La’Reka Marshall who partnered with Tracy Palmer Ministries

“[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 marshallprservices@gmail.com or 302-233-6160.