(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) held its eighth annual "Share a Smile, Give a Toy" Holiday Toy Giveaway and Celebration on December 9, 2014 at the Old Council Chambers of One Judiciary Square.
For the past eight years, OAPIA has collected and distributed 2300 toys to over 2000 District youth. New, unwrapped toys are donated by local community members, community based organizations, and District government employees for youth from ages three to fifteen. OAPIA has been holding the toy drives and giveaways as a way for District residents to give back to their community during the holiday season.
"It was amazing to see so many people donate their time and generosity so that youth could receive gifts during this holiday season,” said OAPIA Director Soohyun "Julie" Koo. "Many community members look forward to this event every year, as it brings smiles to District youth and families."
OAPIA Director Koo made warm remarks alongside Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs Chair Ada Loo during the evening. Activities for youth at the event included storytelling from children’s animated characters, balloon twisting, raffle giveaways, and popcorn and cotton candy treats.
"I loved the theme of the party this year and had a lot of fun. I loved singing, reading, and playing games with my favorite winter holiday characters," said Dayana, one of the 118 children in attendance.
The event this year was made possible due to the generosity and contributions from: Asian American LEAD, Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, Chinatown Service Center, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Costco, Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co., Destiny-Pride, Inc., District of Pi, Elizabeth Louis, Fuel Pizza, Korean American Grocers Association of Washington, DC, Martha Watanabe, Mayor's Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Papa John’s, PAUL Bakery, and Walter Lee.