Santa had his hands full on Saturday, when more than 500 children showed up to the annual gift giveaway held by Councilman Mathieu Eugene.
“Some of the kids didn’t get gifts because we didn’t expect so many!” said Eugene (D—Flatbush) of his fourth annual toy party, which was held at PS 92 in Flatbush on Dec. 17. “We did get some more toys this week that we’re giving away to them.”
Old Saint Nick’s bag was stocked with donated toys from neighborhood organizations, including the Church Avenue Business Improvement District, Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, and Cookies Department Store.
Santa kept his cool in the large crowd, Eugene said, noting that the sluggish economy has made a normally tough time of the year even harder.
Eugene believes even a small toy makes a big difference.
“When I was a kid, one of the most happy times for me was when my father or mother gave me a gift for the holiday,” said Eugene, who grew up waiting for “Papa Noel,” as Santa is called in Haiti. “It’s important to create a happy moment for children to gather with their peers, celebrate and get some gifts that they wouldn’t have.”
The kids received such time-tested toys as stuffed animals, books, small race cars and some new-fangled ones, too, such as handheld electronic games.
“One of the kids came to me and told me how grateful and happy he was,” said Eugene. “And Santa was very helpful!”