This holiday season, the company’s employees spent a day in downtown Boston, Massachusettes sorting through and preparing tens of thousands of donated gifts for Christmas in the City’s annual toy mania event. At the storefront, the Charles River Apparel team and other volunteers lined the walls with boxes of toys and clothing and set up tables and bins with gifts sorted by age and type.
Christmas in the City’s mission is to alleviate the impact of poverty and homelessness on Boston-area families. Each year the charity organization hosts a toy mania event where parents walk through a warehouse filled with toys, selecting gifts — in addition to personal hygiene products, clothes, and school supplies — to give their children for the holidays. The organization is now in its 33rd year of operations.
This year’s event, “Jake’s Toy Mania” (previously known as Monday Mania), was renamed this year in honor of Jake Kennedy, Christmas in the City’s co-founder, who passed away in 2020 from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). The event welcomed nearly 1,500 families at the storefront. Christmas in the City’s signature event — an all-out extravaganza for families currently in shelters — was canceled this year due to COVID-19, so the organization partnered with congregate shelters and delivered gifts to nearly 2,000 children living in 38 shelters.
“The way people come together for Christmas in the City events each year is truly inspiring,” said Jason Lipsett, Charles River Apparel’s marketing director. “Our crew is grateful to have the opportunity to support their efforts and help make the holiday season a more joyous one.”
In addition to volunteering, Charles River Apparel donated 3,600 of its products to the organization and made a monetary donation to help support the organization’s efforts.
“We are just so grateful for the folks from Charles River Apparel who not only donated clothing to Christmas in the City but spent their holiday time volunteering at our Jake’s Toy Mania Event,” said Christmas in the City leader and volunteer Zack Kennedy. “For years, Charles River has donated both time and clothing to Christmas in the City, and we are proud to call them our neighbors.”