Detroit nonprofit helps grant children's Christmas wishes

Hernz Laguerre, Jr.
The Detroit News

The Umbrella Movement distributed gifts Sunday following its fifth annual toy drive that included clothes and household items for Detroit families in need.

Families were selected after explaining why they needed help with their children's Christmas wish lists.

"It's about giving back, helping the less fortunate that might have hard times right now," said Corey Gilliam with the nonprofit. "I've seen some (children) who weren't able to get toys and that's a hurtful feeling ... (Kids ask) ... 'Why Santa Claus didn't bring me nothing and he brought everyone else something?"

The Umbrella Movement received monetary donations from the community.

"I'm very grateful ... my kids are in shock right now ...," Breanna Ealey said as she and her two children receive presents from the Umbrella Movement on Sunday.

One of the recipients who received gifts Sunday said she was grateful, especially because of recent financial issues. "I had recently parted ways with my employer, so it was kind of tough," said Breanna Ealey of Detroit. "I'm very grateful ... my kids are in shock right now ... they will really appreciate it."

As they left Ealey's home on Sunday, those handing out the gifts asked her to record the reactions of her children when they open the presents on Christmas Day. 

Gilliam hopes the nonprofit's acts of giving will encourage others to do the same. "What we hope to do is have others follow, where we can set an example for others to help others in their communities." 

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