Gum Springs church distributes more than 1,000 toys to less fortunate

Children holding toys surrounded by church members.
(Courtesy of Shiloh Church of God in Christ)

Shiloh Church of God in Christ in Gum Springs recently distributed more than 1,000 toys to less fortunate families in the area.

The toys were donated through the Toys for Tots program, with church members driving to Charlottesville to pick up the gifts and bring them back to Fairfax. Shiloh has been conducting the toy giveaway for a few years now, and has grown the program as demand has increased, Pastor Floyd C. Hawkins said in a press release.

“[T]he response is just tremendous,” said Hawkins, who has been pastor at Shiloh for 30 years. “We started with about 50 families and have now served over 250 in Alexandria alone.”

This year saw a sharp uptick in the number of families requesting assistance, said Linda R. Hawkins, Shiloh’s acting director of the missions department

“We’ve always seen a steady increase in requests, but this year we’ve seen a jump in the number of families requesting assistance,” Linda Hawkins said. “We are just blessed that so far we have been able to help them all.”