The recent City of Angels Toy Run benefited local families by providing toys, clothing and food. (Courtesy Photo)
Local community organization City of Angels recently held its annual Toy Run and Giveaway, which benefited hundreds of families in the Roswell area.
For two days, the organization and volunteers gathered in front of Kmart to provide toys and clothing items for children, and turkeys and ham dinners for families.
There was also a barbecue, which served free food such as tacos, hot dogs and chicken.
This was the event’s sixth year and City of Angels founder Felipe Rodriguez said the event continues to grow each year. This year, it received not only support from the community through donations, but from local businesses such as Kmart, Eastside Farmers Country Market, Adopt-A-Soldier and local football teams, Diablos and Bounty Hunters.
He said he was especially grateful to Abraham Gonzalez and Josh Gonzales and their families for their help, and to John Romero and Albert Saiz, who portrayed Santa Claus on separate days.
Rodriguez said his goal with City of Angels is to raise awareness of child abuse and encourage children to embrace the spirit of giving. The organization was created in memory of Baby Brianna Lopez, who suffered and died from extreme child abuse committed by her parents.
“It’s a touchy story, but we try to turn it into a positive one,” he said. “There are a lot of cases like that today and we want to raise awareness and let people know her dying was not in vain.”
The Giveaway is usually the organization’s only event, but Rodriguez said he plans to hold more functions throughout the year.