96.3 WHUR FM – the heritage station of the Howard University Radio Network is giving Santa a helping hand this holiday season, hosting its 17th Annual Toy Drive Saturday, December 14th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shops at Iverson – 3737 Branch Avenue in Temple Hills, Maryland. Radio Veteran Coka Lani took her show on the road broadcasting from center court, encouraging loyal and caring listeners to drop by and donate a new unwrapped toy for a needy child in the DMV.
Despite the cold rain, dozens of listeners heeded the call, donating over 1,200 toys and gifts like bikes, dolls, computer games, kitchen sets, racecars, footballs, books, and gift cards. The toys were distributed to youth serviced by the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, Shepherd’s Cove Shelter, Bright Beginnings, Sisters4Sisters, and the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center. Each year, the organizations provide WHUR with a list of toys needed for children ranging in age from two to 17-years-old. WHUR added to the list of organizations Women’s Wing, after thieves broke into the organizations truck stealing thousands of dollars in toys.
For nearly two decades, WHUR has responded to the needs of children in the Washington region by hosting a coat drive in October and toy drive in December. “Without WHUR, the holidays would be very bleak for hundreds of children. We are truly thankful that WHUR steps up to the plate every year to make sure the holiday season is joyous for our children,” said Denise McCain, Director of the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Listeners who made a donation received a free Maryland Lottery ticket, courtesy of the Maryland Lottery. “We know the holidays can be a tough time for many families. We are honored to be in a position to giveback and provide an avenue where our listeners can lend a helping hand to their neighbors,” said WHUR General Manager Sean Plater.
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