New Yorkers Open Their Hearts This Holiday Season

New Yorkers Open Their Hearts This Holiday Season
By Marisa Butler

This past December, thousands of New Yorkers came together to make the holiday season a little brighter for homeless children across the city. Deliveries of hundreds of action figures, dolls, stuffed animals, games and more came in each day provided by drives from over 35 businesses and community organizations. In total, we collected over 1,500 toys.

A most inspired gift came from an eight year old girl named Francesca (see right). After saving her own money and getting her friends and family to do the same, she was able to purchase an entire truck-full of toys – over $800 worth!

The drive culminated in an exciting holiday carnival held at the UFT headquarters. Nearly 200 children enjoyed games, food, dancing to tunes played by a DJ, face painting, gift bags, toys and a special visit from Santa’s favorite helper, Mr. G from Pix 11! Then after the party, our vans distributed the remaining toys to family shelters throughout the boroughs.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to companies and groups that hosted drives, special events, wrapped gifts or volunteered at our carnival, including the UFT, AIG, Macy’s, New York Life, Lightyear Capital, X-mental, Rainbow Media Holding, Forbes, The New York Economic Development Corporation and Golden Strings of Fate.

Dear Santa,

Thank you for the gifts, prizes, food, and face painting you guys have given me. Thank you for making my holidays super and extra special for me and my family.

- Elio

We'd also like to thank all of those who hosted fundraisers on behalf of the Coalition, especially IR Magazine and Treasure&Bond.

Published in Safety Net, Spring, 2012