Christmas is a season for family and friends, giving and sharing- but it’s also a time for toys.
Watching a child’s face light up when they find brightly wrapped packages under the tree is one of the most joyous experiences of the season.
On Dec. 19, about a dozen veterans and their families attended the Annual Project Help Toy Drive and each left with huge bags full of toys and games for their children.
Families arrived at the Valley Road Elementary School in Stanhope and went to the cafeteria where they were served a dinner of pasta, pizza, chicken parmigiana and salad followed by gooey chocolate cake a big hit with the kiddies.
Then the parents were sent down the hall to the library where they were able to “shop” for age appropriate gifts for their children. In the meantime the little ones were occupied doing crafts in the cafeteria. Volunteers helped parents out to their cars with the bags of toys so that Santa could deliver them on Christmas Eve.
Project Help volunteers worked for weeks collecting toys and donations from kindhearted folks wanting to give back to our military members in thanks for their service to our country.
Approximately 200 toys just for this group and about $1000 in cash donations were collected. The reception and dinner were the result of a joint effort between Project Help and The Center for Prevention’s Military Family Night Out program.
“Project Help’s board of directors love to see the joy brought to these wonderful families who are struggling to make it and who are so appreciative of the Santa Shop to help make Christmas magical for their kids”, said Sandy Mitchell, Executive Director of Project Help.