About $5,000 has been raised to replace $10,000 worth of presents and decorations intended for needy children that were stolen Wednesday night.
D.C. residents and business owners in Ward 4 have raised $4,000, and the mayor’s office donating an additional $1,000.
For years now, Saymendy Lloyd and her charity group, Women's Wing, have been collecting Christmas gifts and giving them to children whose parents are in prison. She says she’s grateful for the children but especially the parents who are inmates.
“Because when they are in there, it’s a stigma, but this tells them that even though they are incarcerated, they may have done wrong, but the community doesn’t look at the children. They’re not blaming the children for anything,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd has been a volunteer at the D.C. Jail for 16 years
“Many of the children especially the teenagers, they suffer with that stigma. So today, it just tells the children the community doesn’t care about what your father or mother has done, or what your brother or sister has done. It’s all about you and there is a better tomorrow, and you don’t have to walk in that path or be in that shadow,” Lloyd said.
This year, toys, household goods and decorations for the children had filled a U-Haul truck. But when Lloyd opened the truck Thursday morning, everything was gone.
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Her annual Christmas party for the kids is scheduled for Saturday. She's expecting about 300 kids to attend.
Lloyd said the Christmas party for the kids will still go on and says she has faith there will be more than enough gifts to go around.
Lloyd said they could really use more gift cards for teens. She’s asking people who would like to help to bring gift cards or donations to Echostage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018) between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday before the party starts.