Your Donations Needed: Holiday Toy Drive Set for Saturday

New Rochelle children in public housing are facing a shortfall of toys since one major donor cannot contribute this year. Give this Saturday, 12-5, at The Poet's Corner.

Toys (file photo)
Toys (file photo)
A grassroots effort to bring toys to children who live in New Rochelle’s public housing is seeking donations to help address a sudden, unexpected shortfall this holiday season.

Vivian Spady’s “Big Viv’s Toy Drive” has been working for four years with the Salvation Army—but this year the Salvation Army got some bad news, according to a press release issued on behalf of the effort: An organization that typically donated 200 toys cannot contribute this year.

The news spurred Mary Jo Jacobs, who had put in a bid for County Legislator, to mobilize. The result is a Holiday Toy Drive, to be held 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, at The Poet’s Corner (570 Main St.).

Jacobs said in the press release that her recent run for office made her more aware of human services needs for city children.

“While on the campaign trail, I meet Vivian Spady and was immediately taken by all the grass- roots work she does in this community,” she said. “Vivian has identified over 75 children who live in New Rochelle's housing developments and she organized this toy drive to make sure these children receive gifts for the holidays. When I heard from Michelle Miller that the Salvation Army lost a major donor who, in the past,  had contributed  200 toys, we decided to combine efforts.”

Several local businesses are involved:

  • Educational Tools and Toys ( 572 Main Street; 914-632-9080) and Merry-Go-Round Toy Store (188 North Avenue; 914- 632-4119) will both have lists of the toys requested
  • Merry-Go-Round is also offering shoppers a 10 percent discount coupon for future purchase (after Jan. 1 )
  • At the Poets’ Corner Alvin & Friends Restaurant (14 Memorial Highway; 914-654-6549) is providing candy canes to those who participate, and providing an extra incentive to donate: Each person who drops off a toy will be entered to win a raffle for a gift certificate from Alvin & Friends.

The effort has extra special meaning for Jacobs, as it is being cast as part of the “Newtown Day of Service” for kids. This Saturday, Dec. 14, marks the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death.

“It’s a great opportunity to support our local businesses while contributing to a brighter Christmas for New Rochelle’s children,” Jacobs said in the press release. “That it all came together so quickly for  this Saturday, with the call to service from Newtown families, seems a perfect opportunity.”


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