The Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center’s New Leadership Group spread holiday cheer by hosting its second annual New Leadership Toy Drive in December to supply over 200 toys to children at the Glen Cove Child Day Care Center.
“The New Leadership Toy Drive created a charitable platform for our families within the Sid Jacobson JCC community to donate holiday gifts for children less fortunate in our neighboring community,” said Jackie Gorman, co-committee chairwoman of the New Leadership Group.
About 200 toys were collected, wrapped and donated to the Glen Cove Child Day Care Center, a private, non-profit organization that gives back to children in need.
“Our goal was to bring a smile to children at the Glen Cove Child Day Care Center this holiday season, while teaching our own children about giving back and the importance of caring for those less fortunate,” Gorman said.
Glen Clove Child Day Car Center Executive Director Christine Curra said she was thankful for the drive.
Curra said the center could not have reached their holiday goal of putting a smile on the face of every child without the help of the Sid Jacobson JCC’s New Leadership Group.
“They went above and beyond to ensure each child had an equal gift,” she said. “It was just a really positive experience to be able to partner with everybody and get the assistance that the families needed.”
The toy collection ran through the beginning of December, and the group held a gift wrapping event at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center on Dec. 13, which was attended by more than 80 volunteers.
“We took the success of last year’s event and built upon that,” co-committee Chairwoman Nicole Adler said. “We had a really big response from everyone coming out to wrap gifts. It was a really nice family oriented event for people to give back to community.”
Unlike the previous year, in which any and all gifts were collected, the New Leadership Group decided to personalize the toy drive for this holiday season. The group obtained a list of 159 gift recipients at the Glen Cove Child Day Care Center.
“This year what was nice for families was that they knew if the gift was going to a girl or boy, in the three or four year range,” Adler said. “It made it more personal.”
Gifts were personalized for the children with individual name tags, Adler added.
They ranged from brand new Barbie dolls, Legos and action figures to puzzles, board games, and art supplies.
The group, lead by co-committee chairwomen Nicole Buslik, Adler and Gorman, said the toy drive was a tremendous success.
“Those of us that organized the drive were happy with number of gifts, and the turn out to the wrapping,” Adler said. “It was nice to see so many families to come together, kids kept coming up asking for more gifts to wrap. I think that everyone who participated felt like it was a meaningful event and really took pride in being able to give back.”
Alder added that the group would like to continue giving back to the community and bring the drive back for future holiday seasons.
“It was really for us to see this go from an idea to fruition,” she said. “The children were so happy to have that during the holidays, and that made it more meaningful for us to see the community come together.”