With Thanksgiving just over and Christmas and New Year’s Eve fast approaching, it’s time to take action for the Queens Chronicle’s annual holiday toy drive for homeless youngsters in Queens.
Our toy box is only half filled and there are more than 300 youngsters waiting for a present at the Kings Inn in East Elmhurst, the Metro Family Residence in Elmhurst, both city homeless shelters, and Dove House, an emergency shelter for battered men or women and their children in Eastern Queens.
This week, we have received letters to Santa from children at Dove House and the Metro facility. Won’t you please take the time to read excerpts from them and help fulfill the children’s dreams?
Amy’s mother writes for the 2-year-old, saying the little girl likes music, Dora the Explorer and Elmo movies. “For my daughter I would like anything musical and entertaining,” the Dove House client wrote.
Christian, 5, writes from the shelter: “I am a good boy. I love you, Santa.” He is requesting toy cars and trucks.
Sally is also 5 and says she loves Christmas. “I would like any toy and I like Justin Bieber,” she wrote, adding in a postscript: “I also like Barbie dolls.”
Mrs. L. writes for her 4-year-old daughter that she’s “a beautiful, shy little girl. She is the light of my life.” Although her mom doesn’t have any specific requests, she says Emily enjoys school, playing, reading and music. “My daughter would appreciate anything for Christmas,” Mrs. L. said.
Karen, 11, loves the pop group One Direction and wants One Direction lipsticks and their movie, while Lincoln, 4, likes Spider-Man, remote-controlled cars and trading cards.
We’ve also gotten lots and lots of letters from children and their mothers at the Metro residence. Here’s a sample:
Nancy, 6, says she’s been a very good girl this year, does well on her report cards and has perfect attendance. “I also listen to my mommy,” she wrote. “Please bring me a Barbie doll and a puzzle game.”
The mother of 1 1/2-year-old Hope writes that she has been “really, really, really good this year.” She is asking for a Fisher Price Little People dollhouse and Leap Frog learning toys.
Alvin is in second grade and says he does well in school, so good that he is in the advanced class. “For Christmas I would like to have a Lego Marvel and Lego Star Wars sets, a Hess truck, a Nerf gun and a Razor scooter,” he said.
Chantelle, 8, is asking for Monster High dolls, folders and coloring books and a Victorious locker decorating set in blue.
Claire didn’t give her age but is asking for a big teddy bear and a blue roller book bag and school supplies.
Stacey would like a loom kit for making bracelets and a Journey girl doll, while Darcy’s mother wants baby toys, a Happy Lights bear and a musical mobile for the 3-month-old.
Items 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 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.
And don’t forget the many teens who live in these shelters. Popular gifts for them include makeup, cologne and perfume, scarf sets, jewelry, basketballs and T-shirts.
Thanks to the following Chronicle readers who dropped off gifts. They are: Dan Golom and the Howard Beach Kiwanis Club, which provided several Flexible Flyer foam snow gliders, Rich Weyhausen of Flushing who is also the Chronicle proofreader, Keith Pressley of Howard Beach and Cathy Chirichella of Glendale.