BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With Christmas just a few days away, kids across the community wanted to come together and hang out with jolly old Saint Nicholas at Capitol Elementary before he makes his rounds on Christmas Eve.
“Santa Claus is coming!” exclaimed 9-year-old Chole Clark.
Christmas is a little more special for families this year as community organizations worked together to host a toy giveaway.
“It is the holidays, you know, we have vaccines going on, barbershops, we have bikes and kids, giveaways to give, you know, it’s the holidays,” said East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse.
Some woke up extra early to make sure their tummies were full before real excitement began.
“I ate breakfast, took pictures and talked to people,” said 11-yea-old Gabrielle Louis.
The organizers made sure no child was left empty-handed. Five-year-old Brandon Smart even won a brand new bike.
“It feels really good because of all the crime and things that’s going on. It feels real good to see all of us out here, young kids mostly enjoy and letting them know that they’re safe,” said Brandon’s mom, Mondreaka Morgan.
“You know, when we engage in these types of activities, you know, it really helps us have conversations where the kids get to see us in a different light,” added Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul.
The children were eager to share what they would like for Santa to bring them this holiday.
“I want a hoverboard that lights up and you put music on there,” said one child. “I love monster trucks!” exclaimed another.
Many families said they are already expecting next year’s event to be even better.