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Queens Chronicle

Final push for toy drive this season

Deadline is Dec. 20 for new gifts going to needy Queens youngsters

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Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 2:38 pm, Thu Dec 22, 2011.

The toy drive ends Tuesday, Dec. 20, so that the two family homeless shelters whose clients our readers are assisting — the Metro in Elmhurst and the Briarwood — plus the River Fund New York, can sort the gifts so they are age-appropriate for the children.

The River Fund is a nonprofit group headquartered in Richmond Hill and, among other things, works with homeless families.

The need for gifts is great, as there are 150 children living at the Metro, 153 at the Briarwood and about 800 involved in the River Fund programs.

Noemi Castro, case manager at Metro, said there are several newborns there, as well as teenagers. Don’t forget them in your shopping. For teens, popular items include cologne, scarves, jewelry, sports items and cosmetics.

We are still receiving letters to Santa from the younger set. Here’s a sampling:

Gina, 5, is asking for a Dora the Explorer doll and doll stroller plus a tea set, while Larry, 4, would like action figures, cars and books.

One mom wrote for her 1-year-old son Michael requesting Fisher-Price learning toys.

Daryl, 7, asks for a Nerf water gun, a football and books. Cindy, 9, wants Santa to bring her a Barbie doll and clothes for it. She writes: “I was evicted from my apartment with my mom and my brother. This made me very sad, but now I’m feeling better because Christmas is coming. I’ve been a very good girl this year.”

Cleo, 10, wants an Easy Bake Oven and Barbie toys plus a Teddy bear. Bailey, 9, says she helps her mom every day and really, really wants GoGo My Walkin’ Pup and a voice-activated Password Journal.

Jimmy, 9, would like a Crayola paint set and a Batman toy and cars, while Vincent, 10, is more into games. He wants Monopoly, Trouble, Sorry and Parcheesi.

This week we thank the following readers who brought in gifts recently: Linda Medford of Middle Village, Jo Marie Moldovan of Howard Beach, Pat Miller of Middle Village, K. Pearsall of Howard Beach, Dawn Alicea of Middle Village, Gianna Marie Vastano Trapasso, age 7, of Howard Beach, Helyett Heraux of Flushing, Terry Ventrice of Ozone Park, Robert and Kathleen Schwartz of Rego Park, Robert and Caryn Perlman of Forest Hills, Carol Maffetone of Rego Park, Clare Zatt of Glendale and the Borough President’s Office.

A big shout out goes to Melissa Hubbard, a parent and member of the school leadership team at Humanities and the Arts High School in Cambria Heights. She collected toys for the drive during a brunch held Saturday at the facility with two other schools in the building: Law and Government, and Business and Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship.

Please deliver only new, unwrapped toys to the Chronicle office, 62-33 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park, now through Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We cannot accept used toys or merchandise.

Toys can also be dropped off at Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office at 93-06 101 Ave. in Ozone Park. In addition, they can be left after-hours and on weekends next door to the Chronicle office at Barosa’s restaurant, 62-29 Woodhaven Blvd., or Barosa To Go at 62-37 Woodhaven Blvd.

Welcome to the discussion.