‘Sugar-Coated Toy Shop’ sweetens holidays for Nystrom students

The Sugar-Coated Toy Shop Giveback took place in the Nystrom Elementary library on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (Photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

About 150 Richmond children will have a sugar-coated holiday season thanks to a sweet gesture by Sacramento cupcake makers.

Last year, Mrs. LaQueanya Henry, who owns Sacramento-based Sugar-Coated Cupcakes with her daughter Mechiala, founded the Sugar-Coated Toy Shop Giveback program that benefited students at three Richmond elementary schools.

This year, Nystrom Elementary was selected to benefit from the program. On Sunday, the school saw its library fill up with toys to benefit 42 families. Parents were brought in one at a time and provided a 20-minute shopping window to select toys for their children. Once toys were selected, they were then brought to a gift wrap station.

Older students didn’t receive toys this year, but rather gift cards.

Henry calls the Toy Shop Giveback “overwhelming in a positive way.”

“Everyone needs helps during this time of year, and I am glad I was able to help,” she said. “My goal is to reach as many children as possible so they have a toy!”

Andre Shumake, a community outreach worker and Mafanikio Program Site Coordinator at Nystrom, and fellow community outreach worker Lourdes Avila, hosted the program.

“During this difficult year of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, we are grateful that Mrs. Henry selected Nystrom Elementary School to help meet the challenging needs of our families during the holiday season,” Shumake said.


  1. As much fun as this was yesterday my hope is that the Richmond School Board member who represents the area will “reach in” and find ways to partner with Ms. Henry to serve more families in the community with both resource and financial support. Families were grateful to have some relief during the holiday in a community that was already impacted by poverty, jobs, and the housing crisis but naw being deeply impacted by COVID and the recession. This is more than the toy, but the love, empowerment, and support for the community by the community.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here