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Angel Tree free toy giveaway at People’s Choice Kitchen

todayDecember 17, 2023 2

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Free toys for kids! That’s what People’s Choice Kitchen did for kids in Rochester ahead of Christmas.

There were many smiling faces at the Angel Tree event where Evangela “Van” Stanley, owner of People’s Choice Kitchen not only gives out toys but also bridges the gap between the community and law enforcement.

“Times are extremely hard. People are living paycheck to paycheck and some or most of them cannot afford Christmas gifts,” said Van. “So, with help of my partners we make it possible.”

Van partners with local law enforcement, the Sheriff’s office, Wegmans, Salvatore’s Pizza, and the Pirate Toy Fund to make the giveaway possible— the first of which took place four years ago. She tells News 8 they managed to collect 500 to 600 toys to date. But the event also allows law enforcement to share good times with the community.

“The community sees us in a different light when we’re doing this, obviously, we’re giving out toys, Santa’s here,” said Captain Gabriel Person from the Rochester Police Department. “I definitely think it helps strengthen the relationship and people see us outside of just law enforcement.”

Officers from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were also there to help give out toys. “This is positive. The kids are coming up and high-fiving us, they’re saying hi to Mrs. Clause,” said Sheriff Todd Baxter. “This is what it’s all about. Our community. We all have a different part of the community and you see it all come together in a precious place like this.”

Presents are sorted by age and the kids get to pick according to age group. And even though there are gifts, the kids know what’s most important.

“Christmas is where you can spend time with who you love,” said one of the children at the giveaway event. “It’s not about the presents that you get, it’s about who you love.”

The children and their parents were very much enjoying themselves and everyone wanted to take a picture with Santa.

Van’s People’s Choice Kitchen can be found on Brooks Avenue in Rochester.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Free toys for kids! That’s what People’s Choice Kitchen did for kids in Rochester ahead of Christmas.

There were many smiling faces at the Angel Tree event where Evangela “Van” Stanley, owner of People’s Choice Kitchen not only gives out toys but also bridges the gap between the community and law enforcement.

“Times are extremely hard. People are living paycheck to paycheck and some or most of them cannot afford Christmas gifts,” said Van. “So, with help of my partners we make it possible.”

Van partners with local law enforcement, the Sheriff’s office, Wegmans, Salvatore’s Pizza, and the Pirate Toy Fund to make the giveaway possible— the first of which took place four years ago. She tells News 8 they managed to collect 500 to 600 toys to date. But the event also allows law enforcement to share good times with the community.

“The community sees us in a different light when we’re doing this, obviously, we’re giving out toys, Santa’s here,” said Captain Gabriel Person from the Rochester Police Department. “I definitely think it helps strengthen the relationship and people see us outside of just law enforcement.”

Officers from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were also there to help give out toys. “This is positive. The kids are coming up and high-fiving us, they’re saying hi to Mrs. Clause,” said Sheriff Todd Baxter. “This is what it’s all about. Our community. We all have a different part of the community and you see it all come together in a precious place like this.”

Presents are sorted by age and the kids get to pick according to age group. And even though there are gifts, the kids know what’s most important.

“Christmas is where you can spend time with who you love,” said one of the children at the giveaway event. “It’s not about the presents that you get, it’s about who you love.”

The children and their parents were very much enjoying themselves and everyone wanted to take a picture with Santa.

Van’s People’s Choice Kitchen can be found on Brooks Avenue in Rochester. Read More NewsRochesterFirst  

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