BROOKLYN - A former gang member is giving back to the Coney Island community by handing out free gifts and coats to children in need.

The Coney Island Toy Drive was held at the field behind the Home Depot on Cropsey Avenue. Participating children were allowed two gifts each.

Organizers say many families in the area are struggling and they want to bring holiday cheer.

They say any gifts that are left over will be donated to the pediatric unit at Coney Island Hospital.