Hauppauge residents and community members showed their generosity and holiday spirit by donating more than 400 toys for their fellow New Yorkers on Tuesday evening.
New York state's Lieutenant Gov. Robert Duffy organized a last-minute NY Gives holiday party and toy drive at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker's Hall on Motor Parkway in Hauppauge Tuesday night. Nearly 135 residents and community members attended to show their support for the cause.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched NY Gives on Dec. 15, an initiative that aims to provide donated gifts, home goods, holiday decorations and toys to community in upstate New York affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee this past summer.
"After the storm, upstate you could see where the water and devastation was. Homes were destroyed, main street destroyed. Someone said people’s entire lives were destroyed. People with no insurance, people with no money lost their homes," Duffy said.
Duffy invited community leaders from across the Hauppauge areas including Hauppauge Public Schools, Hauppauge Public Library, the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce, the Smithtown Democratic Committee and others down to share holiday greetings with one another and bring toys for NY Gives. It was one meeting in a series of regional gatherings to support the NY Gives initiative.
Residents brought 419 new, unwrapped toys to be given to residents in need of holiday joy Tuesday night, filling two large donation bins on either side of the door. Toys ranged from educations books to Sand Art kit, trucks and Barbie dolls.
"This is really bringing toys and a little bit of joy to kids who may have nothing this Christmas or Hanukkah season," Duffy said. "This is one more examples of everyone pulling together to help those who are less fortunate. We can’t thank you enough for being a part of it."
Those who still wish to donate to the cause were asked to spread the word and do so in one of four ways:
- Drop off a new, unwrapped toy or household item for NY Gives at the Perry Duryea State Office Building, 250 Veterans Highway, New York.
- Send a new, unwrapped toy or household item to OGS Mail Room, Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza P1, Dock J, Albany, New York 12242. OGS will arrange for these items to be distributed through charitable organizations.
- Those looking to make a financial contribution should donate to one of the charitable organizations supporting the flood relief efforts such as the United Way of New York. All donations to the United Way will go 100 percent towards victims and their families, no administrative costs.
- Volunteer or bring supplies to a local food bank.
The NY Gives initiative will be accepting donations ongoing throughout the end of 2011.