Three Kings Day at Robinson Gardens Apartments
The celebration of the three Biblical kings who followed a star to find the newborn baby Jesus was a good one at Springfield Housing Authority’s Robinson Gardens Apartments.
The January 6 religious holiday, better known as Three Kings Day in many Latino cultures, included a day off from school for Springfield children and, at Robinson Gardens, gifts for all children who visited the Community Room.
The gifts – including toys, puzzles, games and health and beauty products – arrived courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, very much appreciated by residents at the family development in the Pine Point section of the city.
“This is great for the children,” said Robinson Gardens resident Shanna Scott, a mother of five. “Everybody loves gifts, and we really appreciate this. It means so much to us, the families and especially the children, of course.”
Her daughter, Genesis Epps, who is 7, chose a fidget spinner and Lego blocks, concentrating as she made her choices.
“This is good because we get a cool present and we get to play with it,” she said.
SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan said the authority is grateful for all groups, organizations and individuals who give of their time and resources to help enrich residents.
“We appreciate the Toys for Tots gifts that our families were able to enjoy just in time for Three Kings Day,” Jordan said.
Lynne Cimino, outreach coordinator for Talk/Read/Succeed!, SHA’s family-based early literacy program, said the gifts were a treat for families, who were told ahead of time to stop by on January 6. In all, there were more than 150 gifts, separated out by age and gender where necessary. Give to teens in the Robinson Gardens Youth Group were baskets filled with donated hair, beauty and body products.
“We had a lot of generous groups and people willing to help make our families’ holiday season very happy,” Cimino said. “Everyone is very thankful.”
Eleven-year-old Jansiel Barreiro shared a smile and his thoughts on the day.
“I’m pretty happy because these gifts are cool,” he said.
Javiela Blanco also stopped by with her children Luis and Jadily, ages 9 and 6 and both quite pleased.
“This is so good because I like presents,” said Jadily.
Her mom said, “We all appreciate this. It’s a great idea for the children, they’re always happy with the gifts.”
Children were off from school due to a Springfield School Department professional development day.
The Toys for Tots program is nationwide, a united annual effort by the U.S. Marine Corps to raise toys and funds to help children and families in poor areas have gifts for the holiday season.
And Three Kings Day, also called Día de Reyes is a religious observance of the biblical event more than 2,000 years ago when three Magi – Melchior, Caspar and Bathazar – were guided by a star to find the newborn baby Jesus. When they arrived, they gave him gifts of gold, myrrh, an embalming oil, and frankincense, an incense.
This day also marks the time when many households take down their trees and other Christmas decorations.
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