LA's Midnight Mission provides Christmas cheer to homeless families

Josh Haskell Image
Monday, December 26, 2022
LA's Midnight Mission puts smiles on kids' faces with Christmas gifts
Skid Row's Midnight Mission brought back its annual Christmas Day gift giveaway for the first time since 2019.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Santa's village was back this Christmas Day for Los Angeles families who are homeless or near homeless, thanks to Skid Row's Midnight Mission.

The event hasn't happened since 2019 and this year, the need couldn't be greater. So many families are hurting and no child should miss Christmas.

"I'm happy because this event is good for the families. These times it's difficult to buy toys for the kids," said Ana Montero, a mother of five.

"For my family, lately it's been hard. We got our little Christmas tree late, but I'm glad we did. I'm glad this program is helping us out a lot," said another mother who attended the event.

"I got a squishy, and a puppet, and a Rubik's cube and a basketball," said a Los Angeles boy who attended the toy giveaway.

Hundreds of families lined up early and left with bags full of toys. Some kids even rode off on new bikes.

"It's the relief that it brings to the parents 'cause there's a great deal of shame and sadness when a family can't provide their children with a traditional holiday," said Georgia Berkovich, director of public affairs at the Midnight Mission. "Everybody's talking about Christmas presents under the tree and a traditional holiday meal. For some families, that's a luxury."

The toy giveaway also helped the adult volunteers who made hundreds of young children smile this holiday season.

"A lot of people are struggling. I lost the feeling of wanting a gift for myself so I like when other people are happy when they get one," said Chandran Nambiar, a volunteer at the event for the past six years.

Any remaining toys that were not picked up Sunday will be handed out to the Midnight Mission's community partners, including churches and youth organizations, to be given to children in need this holiday season.