Steve Harvey, Sentinel, KDAY Bring Christmas to Crenshaw
For the second consecutive year, comedian and K-DAY radio personality Steve Harvey helped make this a special Christmas for 1000 families in South Los Angeles. Harvey and his famous friends including basketball’s Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Councilman Bernard Parks took over the Baldwin-Hills Crenshaw Mall courtyard last week and turned it into Santa’s workshop broadcasting live and encouraging Angelenos to donate toys to needy kids in the community and listeners responded big time.
In addition to well known celebrities and politicians the event was also made meaningful by the Los Angeles Sentinel, KDAY Radio Station, Mothers In Action and the Jenesse Center, the oldest domestic violence intervention program in Los Angeles, from which many of the toys were donated.
“C’mon now, while you’re picking up a Transfromer, a G.I. Jane or video for your child, do it for someone’s else’s kid too,” Harvey shouted to the hundreds who came out to support the cause and the millions listening over the airwaves. “You’d want somebody to help if you were in a tight situation this Christmas.”
Harvey, who’s one of the most popular and listened to morning personalities in the country, enlisted help from some of his Hollywood friends including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, TV actors Wendy Raquel Robinson, Rock Dunbar, Tia Mowry, Tichina Arnold, entire cast from TV’s “The Game” and “American Idol’s” Randy Jackson.
Robinson, Harvey’s longtime co-star from “The Steve Harvey Show,” seemed very moved by the generosity she witnessed this day. “I brought 3 toys of my own, someone else brought a gigantic Santa Clause bag full, there’s going to be some very, very happy children,” she said.
The crowd loved it when Magic put his flavor on the significance of the day. “You’re blessed so you can be a blessing to others,” he said. “Now, open that wallet, open that purse and go get that toy.”
“I think we helped over 1000 families,” Harvey told the Los Angeles Sentinel. “One thousand families gonna have a great Christmas.” Some of the donated toys are also some of the hottest gifts of the season including dolls, games, action figures, books and videos.
Mothers In Action, which launched the Toy Drive 17 years ago, applauded Harvey and company for “being there” for the families this holiday season. “We are thankful for Steve Harvey and K-Day Radio. Without them, these children would not have had anything for Christmas,” explained the group’s president, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell. “We are truly grateful.”
For Harvey, Christmas has always been his favorite holiday. “I love a Christmas tree, the lights, and I just love the whole atmosphere,’ remarked the funnyman. ‘I still have my favorite ornament. I didn’t get a lot, but I did get a couple of boxes and all that was special to me. Now, I think about the kids in foster care or shelters or those less fortunate who don’t get that feeling and I think that’s a feeling that every kid should have at least once a year.”
Harvey told the LA Sentinel he’s committed to continuing the toy drive every year. “I just want people to experience a nice Christmas just like I did.”
These days, Harvey is not getting the toys for the holiday he’s buying them. Interestingly, he said that can be fun too.
So how’s K-DAY’s No.1 man spending this Christmas? “I’m leaving for vacation right after the show and we’re going somewhere where we can see some snow.”
When he returns for the New Year, Harvey has big plans. In January, he’ll celebrate his 50th birthday. Get ready, he’s going to show off his new “physique” and the workout routine that he’s been strictly adhering to over the last year. “Fifty and Fly,” that’s the new me, Harvey said. “L.A., ya’ll ain’t ready for this.”