Organizations spread joy by hosting toy giveaways across Chicago

Santa's helpers are busy this weekend spreading holiday joy across Chicago with dozens of toy giveaways. 

"This is so important to our city. We need these moments of joy and healing," said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

Taking over the parking lot at Soldier Field, the group "Christmas in the Ward" held its 25th Anniversary Giveaway.

The group started as a grassroots fundraiser for Englewood.

On Saturday, they served 250 families from 40 wards.

"And next year, we got to get all 50," said Lightfoot. "I am going to make that commitment."

Over at Roseland Community Hospital, 213 children were surprised with gifts that were specifically picked out for them: bikes, laptops, basketballs and so much more.


"It's been an absolute pleasure to host the families of this community to alleviate some of their financial burden and just bring some cheer to the community," said Chrislin Flanagan, Marketing Manager for the Roseland Community Hospital.

A giveaway at "Ombudsman Chicago" served children who have been impacted by violence and trauma.

"Today's event is designed to bring about great hope and inspiration to many families," said Carlos Estes of Ombudsman Chicago.

Along with toys, each family went home with a food basket for their Christmas dinner.

Organizers say everyone has had a hard year one way or another, and this event is a way to bring a sense of normalcy back to the holiday season. 

"Fundamentally, this is about making sure our families and kids that are in need knows that our city loves them," said Lightfoot.