During the holiday season, it’s a joyous time when presents are given to family, friends or other loved ones. But it’s also the season of giving to those who are less fortunate.
Many businesses do their part by collecting monetary donations or nonperishable items and giving them to shelters or charity organizations.
The newly opened T-Mobile in Fresh Meadows is doing its part by having a toy drive and donating the toys to a church in Long Island. Customers also have the opportunity to get their own gift. When T-Mobile customers come in and donate a toy, they will get $10 off their phone bill. They will also be entered into a drawing to win a LG G2 smartphone.
Laura Shepard, the owner of the store said her business partner, Mike Simon came up with the idea to do the toy drive. Shepard, who was born in Flushing, but now makes her home in Connecticut, said it was a good opportunity to introduce themselves as a new small business in the community.
“We should be trying to give back to our community. We are a new resident and business to the area,” she said. “We thought we should do something to give back. “
“It’s always important to help those in the community that are less fortunate,” Shepard added.
The church that will be getting the toys is Mary Immaculate in Bellport in Suffolk County, which will then give the toys to the St. Vincent de Paul’s Society. Ellen Sullivan, president of the church’s St. Vincent De Paul’s group, said they have over 130 families who will receive the toys.
The church doesn’t just wait for the holidays for their acts of charity, Sullivan said, noting they help out year-round.
They also deliver food, clothes and other necessities that less well off families might not have.
The society is named after the 17th century priest who was noted for his commitment to helping the less fortunate, which earned him the nickname of the “Great Apostle of Charity.” After his death, he was canonized as a saint and his legacy of charity work continues on to this day.
Simon, Shepard’s business partner, is also a parishioner at the church, and suggested the toy drive to members of the society. Simon said he and his wife are always making donations.
“I think it’s always a time to give. There are a lot of unfortunate kids out there,” Simon said. “It’s always a pleasure to me. The holiday season is the time for giving. My wife and I will usually give stuff during wintertime like sweaters and coats.”
The toy drive runs until Dec. 24. T-Mobile is located at 198-25 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows, at Francis Lewis Boulevard, near the Waldbaum’s Supermarket.
The phone number is (347) 676-0063. The drawing for the free phone will be on Dec. 29.