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Hundreds Line Up At Queens Church To Receive Gifts For Needy Children

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - It was a striking display of need and an even greater display of generosity Monday morning as hundreds of people lined up at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Church in Jamaica, Queens.

"Some of these people would not have a Christmas as we know it," said Rev. Floyd Flake. "We're trying to provide for them the things they need."

For those people, Christmas had come early, CBS2's Scott Rapoport reported. They were going to receive donated food, toys and gifts for their families.

"It's very important, and I really appreciate what he's doing," one woman told Rapoport. "Look at the turnout."

"I'm on a fixed income and it's hard, and it's so appreciated. It's a blessing," said Ellen Alleyne, of Cambria Heights.

The church calls the event Christmas on Merrick Boulevard -- a community service involving volunteers and the faithful doling out donations with full hearts and lots of love, Rapoport reported.

"This season many people have suffered and we don't want anyone to suffer this Christmas," said Rev. Floyd Flake, pastor at Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral.

"Just giving back to the people and blessing the community for those who are less fortunate than us," said parishioner and volunteer Joyce Bryant.

Something that can be seen in the little faces -- the magic of it all.

"(Is this a good Christmas?) Yes. (You're happy?) Yes," said one little boy.

And heard in the voices of grateful parents trying to do the best they can for their families.

"(How much does this mean to you?) A lot. It means everything. It helps, you don't have to spend so much. And it's the giving, it's Christmas coming soon. So it's hard.," said one mother.

The church said it also distributed food to more than 700 families.

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