For a third straight year, Newark police, fire, and medical responders donate and give out toys to families. Mayor Ras Baraka says they’ve collected 30,000 toys for city kids this year.
“Last year they were pulling people over in their car and instead of giving them tickets they were giving them toys," Baraka said. "I would like to be there that one time when somebody gets pulled over and ready to cuss and go crazy then they give them a toy. That is probably priceless to see. That was innovative and creative and prayerfully that continues to happen this year.”
The first few families invited to pick out toys were recently displaced by fires or victims of crime.
“I know we have Liya Williams here, 6-years-old, who looks very beautiful today by the way, was a victim of a stray bullet in the South Ward unfortunately. We’re glad that she’s here with us alive and well,” Baraka said.
Emmarean Williams helps her daughter Liya pick out some of this year’s most popular toys.
“Liya, she’s a bit shy. It’s crazy though because she loves to dance. She’s a dancer,’ Williams said. “I know she likes the L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls, the Crybabies dolls, and magnetic sand seems to be the thing for little kids these days.”
Emmarean Williams and her family are one of hundreds the Newark Department of Public Safety hope to make smile with toys this holiday season.