It’s the time of the year when our two towns come together to donate their time and energy to raise money and gather donations for the annual SOMSD Parenting Center Toy Drive.
For those of you who are new to our school district, the toy drive benefits the lives of children in our community whose families live beneath the poverty line and are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. All of our schools, churches, synagogues, the Chamber of Commerce, Police and Fire Departments and individual donors show their generosity by donating money, toys, gloves, books, jewelry, and gifts for children and teens from infancy to age 17. (See a list of needed items below.)
Last year we were able to donate gifts to 150 families and nearly 500 children. Parent and student volunteers organize this toy drive, raising money, making collection boxes to put in the schools and businesses, and organizing the bags of gifts to be delivered to the parents of these underserved and deserving children in our schools. It is a major community effort that brings many of us together and gives joy to many children in our community.
Thanks to our student volunteers at CHS, Georgia Longstreet, Ally Krause, Ava Krasner, Samantha Walden, Kambiz Roghanchi, there are donation boxes at:
- Maplewood Fire Department, 105 Dunnell Road, Maplewood
- Gleasons Cleaners, 7 W Parker Ave, Maplewood
- Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty, 181 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood
- Shenanigans Toys, 178 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood
- No.165, 165 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood
- Sparkhouse Toys, 9 Village Plaza, South Orange
- South Mountain Yoga, 18 South Orange Avenue, South Orange
- UPS Store, 4 South Orange Avenue
There will also be boxes up at various pre-schools, all the elementary and middle schools and, of course, Columbia High School. We accept brand new and unwrapped items. Gift wrap is also a needed item!
If you would like to send in a tax-deductible donation you can send checks made out to the SOMSD Parenting Center Toy Drive and mail your check to The Parenting Center, SOMSD BOE, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ 07040. We will purchase an appropriate gift for a needy child from our two towns and give them to their families for the holidays.
The deadline for gifts and checks is December 14.
Your support will enable our community to bring joy to these children and their families. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the SOMSD Parenting Center at 973-762-5600, ext. 1850.