The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles partnered with Top Dawg Entertainment’s Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock to host the third annual free holiday concert at Nickerson Gardens. Over 5,000 fans sang and swayed to the music. CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and performer Jay Rock never forget that they grew up in the housing developments and come back to their neighborhood each year to honor their roots. Other artists also performed at the show, including label mates SZA, Ab-Soul, and Lance SkiiWalker with special guests Whiz Khalifa and A$ap Rocky. The TDE staff gathers toys during the concert and distributes them to children at Nickerson Gardens’ annual toy giveaway.
The Housing Authority also works with other charitable organizations across the city to gather toys for the giveaways. Each of the fourteen housing sites host their own events during the month of December with hard work from HACLA representatives, volunteer groups and residents.
Priscilla Reyes was a winner of a raffle at Ramona Gardens’ toy giveaway. “I’m grateful that I can be a part of something big and that my kids can have things for Christmas.”
HACLA Board Commissioner Daniel Tenenbaum visited Mar Vista Gardens to pass out toys and spend time with residents. Commissioner Lucelia Hooper is a resident of Nickerson Gardens and volunteered at her site’s event. Officers from the Community Safety Partnership with LAPD made an appearance at multiple sites to assist with the giveaway and interact with residents for the sixth year in a row.
Several organizations participate in the events as community service. This year, Sarai Alvarado volunteered to hand out gifts as a participant of the LAPD Cadets Program. “I want to provide opportunities to families who usually don’t have any. The LAPD Cadets Program is focused on strengthening integrity and community, and I definitely feel like doing events like this brings us together as a team,” said Alvarado.
Approximately 5,500 children received toys this year. In total, over 200,000 toys have been distributed since the giveaways began in 1990. Families are grateful to receive gifts and have the opportunity to celebrate with their neighbors this holiday season. As Mar Vista resident Lonisha Cole was leaving, she smiled and stated, “Thank you for doing this. My two kids are excited… Merry Christmas!”