202

Marion Barry’s son carries on father’s Christmas tradition

Kids receive gifts in Ward 8. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Kids receive gifts in Ward 8. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON — The late Marion Barry years ago started a holiday tradition to help provide Christmas toys for kids in Ward 8 who might otherwise not get one. This Christmas, his son carried it on.

 

A little girl looks at a table of donated gifts. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A little girl looks at a table of donated gifts. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

On Christmas Eve, Christopher Barry’s hands were full with bright pink boxes of dolls, nail polish kits and a Doc McStuffins backpack. He was helping a young girl collect what she wanted for Christmas.

“It’s important for children to have strong black role models, and that’s part of the message behind this,” Barry says.

He also wants to carry on his father’s tradition of ensuring children in Barry Farm get a Christmas gift.

“These are the kids that are most in need,” says Raji Rankins, with Sewing Opportunity Never Ending, who helped organize the event at the Birney School, in Southeast.

Children pose with their gifts in Ward 8 (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Children pose with their gifts in Ward 8. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Turnout was lighter than in years past, perhaps because of the weather, but that meant more gifts for the children who did attend.

“It was a blessing at the end of the day, because sometimes we have an overflow and some kids have to leave without,” Rankins said.

The Toys for Tots drive was made possible by SONE and the Bennett Career Institute.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

© 2014 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.