The letters to Santa Claus from youngsters at homeless shelters in Queens are pouring in and we need your help in making their dreams come true.
This year, the Queens Chronicle’s 19th annual toy drive is helping children living in two city shelters: The Kings Inn in East Elmhurst and the Metro Family Residence in Elmhurst. We are also donating gifts to Dove House, an emergency shelter for battered men or women and their children in Eastern Queens.
There are more than 300 children at the two city-run shelters and 22 at Dove House, so the need is great. Here are excerpts from a few letters from youngsters living at Metro to give you an idea of what to purchase:
Lani, 7, is in first grade and has learned to add and subtract “and I mostly learned how to read. I like reading and spelling and it makes my mommy happy.” She added that she likes to do good things such as rubbing her mother’s aching back and helping her little sister. She has no specific requests to Santa because “the best gift I could get is my mommy and little sister.”
Her sister, Ashley, 4, says she likes Teddy bears, blocks and princess dolls.
Danny is requesting a Spider-Man toy, while his sister, Mamie, 4, wants a baby doll or a doll stroller.
Jessica says she’s been at the Metro facility for almost a year and misses the rest of her family in the Bronx. She would like a Nerf archery set. Nick, 8, requests a skateboard or Army action figures and Nelson, 2, would like cars and trucks.
The mother of 1-year-old Sammy writes that her son would like a Tickle Me Elmo toy, while Brenda, 11, would like a Monster High doll and a hula hoop.
Candy, 12, likes to help other people and volunteers at church. She wants a loom kit and a scarf, hat and glove set. Natalie is asking for a baby doll and Barbie dolls.
Lance is hoping for a Lego set and Transformers, while Able wants a Ranger remote control motorcycle, Legos and superheroes such as Batman, Captain America and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Now that you have some ideas, your selections may be dropped off Monday through Friday until Dec. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Chronicle office, 62-33 Woodhaven Blvd., in Rego Park, about a quarter mile south of the Long Island Expressway, exit 19, on the east side of the street.
After business hours, presents may be left at Barosa restaurant, next door to the Chronicle at 62-29 Woodhaven Blvd., or Barosa Brick Oven Pizza at 62-37.
Please leave your name and where you live with any gifts brought after hours so we may thank you later.
In addition, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) will donate a portion of the toys received in his drive to the Chronicle’s. His office is located at 213-33 39 Ave., suite 238 in Bayside. The deadline for his drive is Dec. 18.
Thanks to our early gifters JoAnn Priori of Woodside and Vicki Sobel of Briarwood.