National Action Network holds Christmas toy giveaway and lunch in Harlem

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- It was a Christmas meet-and-greet, a toy giveaway, and a warm meal with all the trimmings at the National Action Network in Harlem.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Reverend Al Sharpton served it up as usual with a little politics on the side.

"We are surrounded by some really, really challenging things in this country," said the mayor. "Something's upside down and backwards in Washington DC."

And at a time when New York's mayor is fighting some uphill battles of his own, Sharpton is proving his consistency as a friend.

"People talk about, there's no momentum for de Blasio. Yes there is," said Sharpton.

And there was plenty of love for New York in the room. The mayor called it a beacon of hope at a time when the nation needs it.

And speaking of hope this Christmas: "I am so grateful, not to be homeless no more," said Bronx resident Shoshanna Morgan. "This is my first year in my apartment in 17 years, running in and out of the street, getting in trouble. I am now a college student, I'm raising my children."

"Going through stroke and stuff like that, so treatment and stuff, I'm just happy to be here and share another year of life," said Harlem resident Evelyn Murrell.

The word has definitely gotten out about the event. Sharpton has been doing it for more than 20 years now. It drew a big crowd that was filled with all ages.

Shoghi is only 8 but he had big dreams. "The chances of coming here, getting this toy here are pretty rare. A PS4 Spiderman edition," he said. Asked if he thought it would happen, he said "I hope!".

The best gift was a sense of community at a time when some might have had nowhere else to find it.

* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.