Toy Giveaway brings cheer to children

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 4:33 PM
Last updated Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 9:32 AM
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Christmas is going to be merrier for hundreds of local children Monday because of a tradition started by the Godfather of Soul.

The annual James Brown Toy Giveaway will start at 9 a.m. at James Brown Arena. Children and parents from the Augusta-Aiken area will receive toys for the Christmas holiday, which have been provided by sponsors, said Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown-Thomas.

“We have registered hundreds of kids,” Brown-Thomas said. “For some of those kids, they won’t get anything for Christmas. I’m getting constant e-mails and calls about parents who are in a really bad way this year and can’t do anything for their kids because they can barely keep a roof over their head and food in their refrigerators.”

A limited number of children will still be able to register for toys Monday morning. Parents and children must arrive early to be considered. Doors will open at 7 a.m., she said.

Starting last year, parents had to preregister their children at Bell Auditorium and James Brown Arena. They were required to bring a valid state ID and Social Security card for themselves and a birth certificate and Social Security card for each child age 1 to 12.

Children must be present in order to receive toys. Organizers use the United Way Clearinghouse to ensure they first serve those who are not registered with other agencies, Brown-Thomas said.

Before the official toy giveaway, children will be able to play on inflatables, get their faces painted and enjoy free snacks, starting at 8 a.m.

The J.A.M.P. Masters, students from the J.B. Academy of Musik Pupils, will perform. They have learned some of Brown’s songs and Christmas tunes, as well as several Christmas classics, Brown-Thomas said.

The giveaway will also be streamed live on The Brown Family Children Foundation’s Web site at, Brown-Thomas said.

“The only way that this has been working out is because of the grace of God,” she said. “I’m thankful to God for blessing us and bringing us people who continuously support the efforts that we are putting forth.”


James Brown Toy Giveaway

James Brown Arena, 601 Seventh St.

Doors open at 7 a.m.

Playtime and snacks for children at 8 a.m.

Toy giveaway starts at 9 a.m.

A limited number of children will be able to register for toys today. Parents and children must arrive early to be considered.

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 12/19/11 - 04:42 am
Oh, I bet it's going to be

Oh, I bet it's going to be WILD down there! All those kids getting those toys, the inflatables, snacks, music! It really does sound like those folks have gotten their process better organized over the years. Sad to hear that they're having to use all those safeguards, but the end result is that more kids get toys. Sounds like it'll be a mass hysteria of fun for a few hours!

fatboyhog 12/19/11 - 06:46 am
I wonder how many of these

I wonder how many of these parents are truly needy and how many are just wanty.

rmwardsr 12/19/11 - 07:53 am
In my line of work, I see

In my line of work, I see both sides of the equation every day, and there will be those who are just looking for a handout. But God bless those who are truly in a state of need, and let's all be thankful that one man and his children care enough about humanity to share, to give to those who are less fortunate.The little children who will experience a good Christmas are the ones to be concerned about.

allhans 12/19/11 - 09:32 am
I continue to feel that it

I continue to feel that it would be better for the children if it wan't so obviously charity. It has to lose something when they see other kids getting theirs under the tree on Christmas morning.

wondersnevercease 12/19/11 - 10:04 am
It takes a whole lot more

It takes a whole lot more than "one" took many..many men and women (sponsors) who work had everyday to make the donations for this event.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 12/19/11 - 10:43 pm
What a blessing it must be

What a blessing it must be to witness those smiles, first hand.
You have to hand it to Mr. Brown, he did give back to others. And he passed that ministry down to his children. Good for his daughter, she credits others for their assitance and gives all the glory to our God.

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