The holiday spirit descended on Herbert Von King Park on Saturday when 500 Men Making A Difference hosted its annual toy giveaway and tree-lighting celebration.

Hip-hop artist Young M.A helped Santa surprise the more than 100 kids and their families with gifts and toys.

And also the Bed-Stuy rapper was in for a surprise: Young M.A was presented with an official citation by Assemblymember Latrice Walker and the New York State Assembly in recognition of her contributions to the community. Young M.A also took a moment to speak about her foundation Kweens, which she launched with her mother to assist single mothers, low-income families and parents who have lost their children to street violence.

“It’s for women and for men—Kings and Queens … Kweens,” she said. “I got my mother involved because she sadly lost her son, my brother, in 2009. This is something for her to get into, bring a little relief and meet other mothers who have been in that situation, so they’re not alone.”

Guests kept warm with hot cocoa, cider and cookies while grooving to tunes provided by a DJ. 

Take a look at the snapshots from Saturday’s holiday fun:

*All photos courtesy Sharon Devonish Leid.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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