But Bittaye decided she would keep working and prayed that something would work out. Something did. Last minute donations poured in, and now Bittaye, and her 15 volunteers, were able to give toys to all the families who had registered and even had extra for some who had not. The donations included pajamas, board games, footballs, dolls and action figures.
“I was still receiving calls after we cut off our registration just after Thanksgiving, and what I told a lot of those people was as long as we had something, we would continue to serve them. I couldn’t guarantee anything, but if they came to the building today, I would place them on a waiting list and fill those orders on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Bittaye.
“The event was open to the Newton County community. The priority was starting here because this is where I run my program, but we also focused on the homeless shelter as another area that we were determined to serve.”
volunteers from Oxford College, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia and The Church in the Now in Conyers helped with the donations, Bittaye said her largest support came from residents who live in the housing authority.
“They have been committed and consistent for at least one week helping me to count the toys, bag them up, to do basically everything. They even did the decorations yesterday,” said Bittaye.