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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.
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.
Nineteen years and counting. Yes, it’s that time of year again for the Queens Chronicle’s annual toy drive for displaced children in the borough.
So while you’re preparing for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, don’t forget about these youngsters who might not get any presents if not for your generosity.
Barosa owner Joe LaRosa, left, and manager Nick Repcaru.
It’s unlikely she was thinking about restaurants when Jeannette Walls wrote in her celebrated 2005 memoir, “All seasons have something to offer.” But the line would not be out of place in describing the philosophy that many eating establishments follow to mark the different times of the year.
As cooler temperatures have signaled the arrival of fall, many local restaurants have begun to adapt their menus to satisfy the cravings of their hungry customers.
The complaints about Muni-Meters, many of which were installed across Queens at the end of last year, continue to trickle into the Queens Chronicle office. Some come via letters to the editor, including one this week, and some via conversation —since the one directly in front of the newspaper’s office hasn’t worked since the week it was installed.
For the first couple months it didn’t work at all, as indicated by a blinking red light greeting drivers. Then two weeks ago a worker opened it up and got it to accept credit and debit cards. But it still will not take coins, to the chagrin of many drivers.
A bucolic-looking 62nd Road in Rego Park. Just beyond the bend are Woodhaven Boulevard, Barosa restaurant and, next door, the Queens Chronicle office.
Wow! The Queens Chronicle’s 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive sure was a success. Literally hundreds of children — infants, teenagers and everyone in between — got toys, clothes and other gifts for Christmas, thanks to our readers.
Our reception area became an obstacle course as the donations piled up. The conference room looked like a miniature Toys “R” Us warehouse. Santa’s little helpers at the front desk — office manager Lisa LiCausi, our main toy drive coordinator, administrator Stela Barbu and new accounting staffer Giselle Faura — were kept more than busy receiving contributions, packing them up and ensuring they would go to the right recipients. Of course Publisher Mark Weidler got involved directly, as always, loading the gifts into his SUV and, with LiCausi, personally delivering them to many of the recipients.
You should have seen the smiles when some of the children at the Metro Family Residence in Elmhurst got early Christmas presents on Tuesday, thanks to readers of the Queens Chronicle.
But now we’re down to the wire — today, Dec. 20, is the final day to contribute gifts! Metro is just one of the centers and groups that will be giving them out to needy children.
This is it — the last chance to contribute to the Queens Chronicle’s 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive, which will benefit needy children who are homeless, are staying in a shelter because of domestic violence or lost everything when Hurricane Sandy hit.
We hope you can be a part of it.
“My No. 1 wish is to have a safe home for me, my mommy and my sister,” little Soniyah, a youngster staying at the Metro Family Residence in Elmhurst says in her letter to Santa Claus. “And I would also like a Barbie house, a Hello Kitty purse, a play tent and a guitar, because I like to play music and dance.”
Soniyah adds that she wants to be on Santa’s list for her “favorite holiday,” saying, “I will be good and go to bed early so you can come. Be safe delivering toys.”
What makes the Queens Chronicle’s annual Holiday Toy Drive an effort worth supporting? Just ask Christelle Padmore, the child care coordinator for Dove House, an emergency shelter for battered women and their children that will be one distributor of this year’s gifts.
“Half of the time their parents fled with just the clothes on their back,” Padmore said. “They have nothing for the children, nothing.
The crisis brought on by Hurricane Sandy may just make this year’s Queens Chronicle Holiday Toy Drive the most important ever.
This is the 18th year the paper has sponsored a toy and gift drive for needy children in Queens, and we need your help more than ever to bring them holiday cheer. Each year hundreds of children in homeless shelters benefit from our readers’ largesse, but as everyone knows, there are hundreds of newly homeless families whose dwellings were lost to the storm.
If we can take one good piece of news from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that people come together to help each other in times of crisis. All around the borough, elected officials, community leaders and area businesses are collecting supplies to help those battered by the storm.
• Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) is collecting clothing, shoes, diapers, toiletries, and children’s toys, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at his office, on the second floor of 56-21 Marathon Parkway in Little Neck. It can be reached at (718) 428-7900.
The Queens Chronicle is accepting donations of clothing, shoes, cases of bottled water and nonperishable food at its office in Rego Park, where the power is on and no trees or wires are blocking the streets.
For a blend of the modern and traditional, both on your plate and in your surroundings, you can’t beat the recently remodeled Barosa restaurant in Rego Park.
The subtle, refined exterior at Barosa, recently renovated, reflects the ambience inside the restaurant and the quality of the dishes on the menu.
Barosa co-owner Joe LaRosa and his staff, including server Charlie and bartender Kara, invite you to enjoy both their restaurant and its well-stocked bar.
The main dining room at Barosa restaurant on Woodhaven Boulevard was recently remodeled and expanded. The family-friendly neighborhood eatery also has a glass-enclosed seating area and a party room downstairs.
An electronic speed limit sign has been placed on the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and 62nd Drive, displaying the words “Slow Down” in capital letters and a picture of a skeleton when drivers exceed the limit.
When driving northbound on Woodhaven Boulevard, drivers see the sign that reads “Speed Limit 30” and depicts a man crossing the street. When a driver breaks the speed limit, the sign changes.
An electronic speed limit sign has been placed on the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and 62nd Drive, displaying the words ‘Slow Down’ in capital letters and a picture of a skeleton when drivers exceed the limit.
When driving northbound on Woodhaven Boulevard, drivers see the sign that reads ‘Speed Limit 35’ and depicts a man crossing the street. When a driver breaks the speed limit, the sign changes.