Community leaders surprise Brentwood children with gifts for Three Kings Day celebration
Community leaders hosted a celebration to surprise Brentwood children and their families with presents for Three Kings Day at St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church on Sunday.
Three Kings Day, also known as “Spanish Christmas," is a Christian holiday during which participants dressed as three kings hand out toys to children.
“Three Kings Day is a tradition in the Hispanic community that is all about celebrating the arrival of the magi, or the Three Kings, to the baby Jesus, so we are reinforcing the culture within the Hispanic community,” said Marc Soto, of Puerto Rican Coalition. “It's the sense of culture, of identifying their pride and their culture, and also coming back with a feeling of gratitude because we are sharing gifts with them.”
Hundreds of families attended the event. Maria Lopez, of Brentwood, said she brought her two-year-old granddaughter Iliana in hopes of passing on cherished cultural traditions.
“It's almost like a little Christmas for them. What they actually really look forward to doing this,” she said.
Toys for Tots donated the gifts and community volunteers distributed them.
“I don't even really do it for the community service hours. I just do it because I love seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces,” said Mia Soto, a 12-year-old volunteer from Merrick.