Bay Ridgites schlepped giant fluffy bunnies, toy fire trucks, and jewelry-making kits to The Brooklyn Firefly for the Merchants of Third Avenue’s annual holiday toy drive on Dec. 19. Local do-gooders donated more than 100 toys to the needy this holiday season. And it was a heart-warming event that let locals share their holiday traditions with the less fortunate, said one area merchant.
“It’s a great feel-good event to help make the neighborhood stronger and to give to those who might not normally get a new toy for the holidays,” said Shelia Brody, co-owner of The Green Spa and Wellness Center on Third Avenue near 88th Street. “When I was a kid, I always had beautiful toys under the tree. I just would never want a little kid not to get a gift for the holidays. It brings a sparkle to their eyes — so I’m glad we can do this for them.”
This year, organizers donated the toys collected to the Downtown-based Heartshare Saint Vincent’s Services — which helps support more than 4,000 Brooklyn youths. Heartshare will pass the presents on to foster children. The toy drive was an overwhelming act of kindness and a testament to Ridgites’ holiday spirit, said the organization’s vice president.
“The people really understood the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season,” said George Cincotta Jr. “They led with their heart and understand that there are youth that don’t have as much as they might and felt compelled to respond to that. They were just very generous of spirit and we thank them for that.”