PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The CBS3 Joy of Sharing Toy Fest is collecting hundreds of gifts for excited children at the Boys and Girls Club of Camden County.
Every weekday, the club is a safe spot after school for about 130 children from all walks of life.
Eight-year-old Jayden Lu wants to be a pilot one day, or as he puts it, “I want to be the driving airplane.”
Jayden moved to the United States a few years ago from Vietnam. He gets help with homework at the Boys and Girls Club. His ten-year-old cousin Alan Lu does too.
“They usually help me with math. I just need help with math,” Alan said.
Once math is done, it’s playtime including pool and arcade games.
Alan has “progressed tremendously,” said youth development director La’Toya Spencer.
She says Alan was once shy around people, especially considering the language barrier. But here, he blossomed. So did Jayden.
“When he came here it was a bunch of head nods and head shakes,” La’Toya said. “Even though there was a barrier, he was like in the mix like any other kid.”
Here, these children are learning to be great citizens.
For the third year in a row, CBS3 is collecting toys for a club-wide Christmas party.
“What does it mean to you, mean to the families, and especially the children?” asked CBS3 anchor Ukee Washington.
“So can I tell you whenever I get that phone call i do a little happy dance in my office,” said Bernadette Shanahan, executive director.
Already, viewers have donated hundreds of toys, filling a storage room hidden from prying eyes.
“This is absolutely incredible,” Bernadette said.
“Does Santa Claus know about all this?” Ukee asked?
“We sent him an email. but he has not responded yet,” Bernadette said.
The Boys and Girls Club need even more toys so every one of their 130 children will get a Christmas gift. The children are excited.
“At the party? Is fun!” Jayden said.
And fun for adults, too.