Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday toy drive kicks off at Bronx Zoo

Here's a story from this week's Bronx Press.

By Brendan McHugh 

Children of PS 205 kicked off the
annual holiday toy drive in the Bronx.
Donating a new toy for underprivileged children this holiday season can offer not only the feeling of generosity, but also a free ticket to the Bronx Zoo.

 The Bronx Zoo has teamed up with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for the third annual toy drive. Last week, students of PS 205 and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce made the first donations. 

“This year there’s going to be a lot of happy faces,” said Lenny Caro, president and CEO of the chamber of commerce. “It’s a nice feeling when you’re able to give like that.” 

Caro donated 1,000 toys in this toy drive and will be holding his own toy drive as well, where he’ll be donating 10,000 additional toys. Among the toys are sports balls, electric mini-helicopters, stuffed animals and toy police cars and fire trucks. 

The second graders of PS 205 are glad to be helping others.
“We’re donating stuff to children who need it,” said 9-year-old Guadelupe. “They’re going to be happy about it.”

Jump below for the full story.

Her teacher, Mrs. Friedlich, said generosity and caring for others is an important aspect in the school, where many of the children come from difficult financial situations themselves. “It raises their self esteem, knowing that they’re helping others,” she said. 

The children were each allowed to take a toy of their own at the end of the event. 

The Bronx Zoo will serve as a collection point for new, unwrapped toys donated by members of the community. Toys will be collected through the end of December and will be distributed by the borough president’s office. 

“I’m just so glad we’re able to partner with the Bronx Zoo,” Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene said. “We set a precedent for other boroughs so that they realize that this is something we all need to do throughout the city of New York.” 

She thanked them for work they’re doing to make everyone aware of the drive. 

“I’m so glad we have these stars to show the way and to help us realize our goal.” 

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo, is also partnering with City Harvest to collect food for underprivileged New Yorkers. Food collected from food drive helps provide nutritious meals every day to people in New York City who turn to food assistance programs. 

“The toy drives and the food drive are truly worthy causes,” said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president of public affairs. “We are proud to play a role in making the holidays more enjoyable for families in need of a helping hand.” 

People who donate at least ten nonperishable, canned or packaged food items will get a ticket to any of the city’s zoos or the aquarium. 

“Every family deserves to be happy, especially during the holidays. By donating a toy that will put a smile on a child’s face or donating food items to help feed families in need, New Yorkers can help make the season a little brighter for hundreds of families throughout the city,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said.

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