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holiday toy drive

Photo from Northwell Health
Workers come in two-hour shifts to provide gifts of joy

With holiday music blasting overhead, dozens of Northwell Health employees gathered together for a marathon gift-wrapping session to ensure that school-age children enjoy a happy holiday season.

“I am so proud of each Northwell employee and all of our community partners who made this joyful event possible,” said Edward Fraser, vice president of Community Relations at Northwell. “Today, literally hundreds of our team members joined together to wrap thousands of gifts for children in the communities we serve. It is our belief that no child should be denied the gift of joy at the holidays.”

Through an on-line platform operated by Northwell’s nonprofit project partner, Supplies for Success, employee donations were used to provide art supplies and other gifts for different age categories. No contribution was too great or too small. And, the results are impressive: more than $40,000 was collected for this worthy cause.

All the wrapped gifts will be distributed to families who cannot afford them in in four Long Island communities (Brentwood, Bay Shore, Freeport, Hempstead) as well as locales in Manhattan, Westchester and Staten Island.

Along with the gift, the final item placed in each bag was a hand-written, holiday message by the staff member who packed it. At the bottom of their bags, students will find such joyful messages as, “Happy holidays,” or simply, “Enjoy!”

The Northwell “elves” who participated in the gift-wrapping marathon, along with Mindy Richenstein, founder and president of Supplies for Success, said that the motto of the day was, “All children deserve the gift of joy at the holidays!”

To help families throughout our region enjoy a Happy Holiday season, Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) will be hosting a very special Holiday Toy Drive on Saturday, December 11th.  The special event will be from 11 am to 2 pm at the Frank O. Arthur Brush Barn in Smithtown, which is located at 245 Middle Country Road.

Senator Mario Mattera. File photo.

During the event, Senator Mattera and his staff, along with volunteers, will be accepting new and unwrapped toys and gift cards for children aged 2 through 16.  They request that donors avoid any toy guns or knives.

Senator Mattera and his staff will be on hand at this special event to say thank you to all who take the time to donate.

Senator Mattera’s office will deliver all donated gift cards and toys to the youngsters receiving care at Stony Brook University Children’s Hospital and for children who utilize the Salvation Army.

“The holidays are so special to our families and our community and it is so important that everyone gets to feel the warmth of this special season.  This year, as we reconnect with our families, I invite all of our residents to join me to make the  holidays a little more enjoyable for all,” stated Senator Mattera.  “We hope that everyone who is able will bring a toy or gift card to enjoy the gift of giving.”

There will be cookies and hot chocolate for the children who participate and each child who donates is invited to send a personalized letter to Santa!

Any resident who would like to donate but is unable to do so on Saturday, December 11th is invited to drop off their donation at Senator Mattera’s district office in Smithtown.  The office is located at 180 Middle Country Road, Suite 210.

Please contact Senator Mattera’s office at 631-361-2154 if you have any questions about participating or for more information on this special event.