Tallahassee children living in public housing will see toys and bikes under the tree this Christmas.
Mayor Andrew Gillum hosted the city’s 4th annual toy giveaway at the Orange Avenue Apartments. Every child got a donated present and had a chance to win one of 40 bicycles. Children could also pick up coats, jackets and mittens. The mayor said they also gave meals to everyone.
“This is exactly what Tallahassee is," Gillum said. "Coming together, giving back, helping to make sure that all of our children particularly get to see and reap the benefits of this season and so much of that being the giving and receiving of gifts.”
Gillum said it feels good to give back, but it also reminds him that people are struggling in the community. He said the giveaway is a way to show the kids they matter.
“Certainly for the kids who will be served today, I want them to know that they’ve got as much of a right to a good or a fun Christmas as any other kid in our community," he said.
Gillum says the city is working to address the shortage of affordable housing. The city currently rents about 540 apartments and houses under the Tallahassee Housing Authority. A 2015 United Way study showed 30 percent of Tallahassee residents live below the poverty line.