Great Neck North High School’s Interact Club has been fundraising for dozens of toys for children in Cohen’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House, building on earlier drives they conducted for the organizations.
With this year’s holiday toy drive, members of the Interact Club did bake sales, fundraised during lunch, put a donation box in front of the school and had a “sponsor a toy” initiative, club leaders said, where students could have an extra incentive to give.
“[We] wanted to get the whole school involved,” said Samantha Kron, the president of the Interact Club.
“It would be safe to say [there were] over 60 toys,” Amanda Reilly, the club’s supervisor, added in a separate interview.
Board games, coloring books, Legos and stuff animals were among the toys that students gave to the drive, Reilly and Kron said, as well as some “simple toys” that they had around the house.
“They went more for the things they could play for a long time,” Kron said.
Kron said they chose to donate these items to Ronald McDonald House, which houses families with children in the hospital, and Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, because of their positive experiences with them and their important missions.
“They’re just very nice people to work with. They were very easy to get in contact with and they were very appreciative of everything we give them,” Kron said, referencing her two years working with them and the club’s costume drive in October.
“I just love how much they’ve accomplished and how many homes they have and how many people they’ve impacted,” Kron added.
Kron said the drive started at the end of November and a month went into researching toys, making flyers, setting up the donation box, going to the stores to buy toys and scheduling time on the morning announcements.
While the club will wrap up their first round of gifts on Wednesday, Kron said people are still welcome to donate through the donation box.
“We’ve kept it right in front of the auditorium so they can see it right when they walk into school,” she said.
The next drive the Interact Club will be participating in is the Midnight Run, Reilly said, where the students will collect food and clothing and drop the items off at designated spots in New York City.
And it will also be one of the last Interact Club drives for Kron, a senior graduating in 2018.
“It’s been close to my heart,” Kron said. “I love all the people we’ve impacted and all the people we’ve helped over the last few years.”