It has become an annual event that attracts old and young residents to Suitland Elementary School, and this year was no different than the other 10 Christmas Party Toy giveaways that have occurred with the help of local businesses and members of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi recruited by Elsie Jacobs and the Suitland Action Team.

Dozens of children and their families enjoy a Christmas Party at Suitland Elementary School on Dec. 9. (Photos by aDena Maria Mas’siaé)

A large contingent of county law enforcement officers helped out with the event, including Prince George’s County Sheriff Melvin High, who is running for another term as county sheriff in 2018, and Police Chief Hank Stawinski. A host of the county’s political candidates, school officials and members of various community groups and civic associations also stopped at the school as well.

The annual Christmas Event held Dec. 4 provided toys, a catered dinner, snacks and a visit from Santa, who showed up on the back of a Prince George’s County Fire Truck accompanied by a police escort and sirens, in the midst of cheers of “We Want Santa” from more than 100 youth and their families.

By the end of the event every child left with a bag filled with a coat, hat, gloves, toys, shoes and a big smile on their faces.

“It makes you feel good to do something like this,” Jacobs told the {AFRO}. She coordinates the event with help from members of the Suitland Action Team each year. “I believe the adults enjoy it more than the children.”

Andrew Mundley of Elite Barbering Services, located in Glenarden, Md., said he and his crew were happy to participate.

“This is our second year,” he said. “It’s good to give back to our community and the kids.”

Temple Hills, Md.-based Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Weldon T. Fields said his church participated for the first time and they were glad to have the opportunity to donate several bags of toys to the youth.

“We wish we had known about this program earlier,” Fields said. “Our ministry enjoys giving back to the community, particularly the youth. It’s important that we provide more than just sermons on Sunday.”

Eboni Johnson , a Suitland resident, said the donations she received will mean a lot for her family. “It takes a lot of stress off,” said the single mother of two. “My children are real happy just like all of the other children here.”