Toy drive supports kids who lost parents to violence

The gloomy weather didn't deter people from dropping off toys of all types at the YMCA on Campbellton Road Monday, reminding kids that their family can extend beyond bloodlines.

Ajaleh Waiters, 8, rummaged through boxes overflowing with toys, getting a sneak peek at what she could end up with on Christmas morning.

Dozens of children like Waiters will have something to unwrap around the holidays, thanks to the generosity of the southwest Atlanta community.​

Monday evening's toy drive, hosted by the Davis Bozeman Law Firm, Let Us Make Man and The Black Man Lab, centers around kids who have lost parents to violence. ​​

“We don't want that to be the lasting memory for the child,” said attorney Mawuli Davis. “We want other experiences in any way we can to remind them of the goodness of life, the goodness of the holiday season.”​

Now, Christmas shopping is one less thing Waiters’ grandmother will have to worry about this holiday season. ​

This December marks eight years since Ajaleh Waiters’ father, Ariston, was shot and killed by a police officer.​ The loss continues to cut the family deep, especially around Christmas time.​

“It's such a good feeling to know that people still care [and] to see everyone who is still out here,” said Shaquan Walker, Ajaleh Waiters’ grandmother. “It's an awesome feeling​.”

In its fifth year, the law firm collected about 150 toys and more than 50 gift cards in the five-hour event.