The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) is asking for a helping hand this holiday season during its annual Holiday of Hope campaign. The non-profit organization, which serves children who have been victims of abuse, wants to ensure that more than 2,000 kids receive toys and gifts this year, making their holiday a little happier.
DCAC especially needs gifts for teens and preteens right now. The organization’s website offers suggestions on age-appropriate gifts as well as links to wish lists for those who would like to purchase items for donation. In addition, monetary donations can be made through the website.
DCAC employee Lexi Allman described the effect holiday gifts have on families.
“The relief — I’ve had parents cry in front of me before. These parents have already had to have so many challenging conversations with their kids. If we can take away that one, so they don’t have to say Christmas or Hannukah or whatever they celebrate, isn’t happening this year – that is so big on our end,” she told CBS News.
Along with monetary and gift donations, DCAC encourages organizations or groups to host their own toy drives to benefit the Center.
Residents in the Dallas Lakewood area have been doing just that for the past few years. In 2020, the neighborhood instituted FaLaLa Lakewood, a yearly event where Santa and his elves parade through the local community, collecting presents from the crowd to donate to DCAC.
Kelsey Hills, a Lakewood resident, explained the event’s origins. “We were a few moms that wanted to help, and we wanted our kids to be involved,” she stated. The event has since grown from a few families to a large neighborhood event.
This year’s FaLaLa Lakewood parade will take place on Saturday, December 3, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Anyone is welcome to bring a new, unwrapped toy to hand off to Santa anywhere along the route.
Over the past two years, Lakewood families have donated over $70,000 worth of gifts for DCAC children.
For those who cannot make it to the parade, donations are being accepted at the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. through December 9. The Center is located at 5351 Samuell Blvd. in Dallas.