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Brentwood law firm turns into free toy store for families

Parent Andina Chicas, left, gets help selecting presents

Parent Andina Chicas, left, gets help selecting presents from paralegal Jennifer Covais. The offices of Liga De Justicia in Brentwood were turned into a toy store Dec. 19, 2015 for 50 families to select donated gifts for their children. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

The parents who lined up inside one Brentwood law office on Saturday didn’t need legal help, but something simpler: a few gifts under the Christmas tree.

Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar, P.C. transformed one of its branches into a free toy store for the fifth straight year, cramming the storefront office on Brentwood Road with an estimated $10,000 worth of dolls, Star Wars puzzles and Mets memorabilia.

Parents from 52 families, many from Long Island’s Latino community, browsed items donated by the law firm, its staff and vendors, attorney William Ferro said.

“They shop, they leave with a Toys R Us bag, but there’s no cash register,” he said.

Waves of 13 families per hour shopped in two converted lawyers’ offices and a conference room and were allowed four toys per child. Where there normally had been computer monitors and stacks of paperwork, desks overflowed with action figures and Socker Boppers.

“We flip it from legal-land into toy-land,” said attorney Kenneth Mangano. “You come back on Monday, and we turn it back into a law office.”

Debbie Ehrlich, a school cafeteria worker from Bay Shore, left with a puzzle, an air-hockey game and other items for her son, 11, and daughter, 9. “It’s a blessing,” she said.

Ferro said the firm’s staff stocked the office with merchandise from the Toys R Us in Commack. Cliffco Mortgage Bankers, a Westbury company, collected additional toy donations at its Christmas party Wednesday, said the firm’s marketing director, Lisa Alper.

“It warms your heart when you see people get things that they just don’t normally have, and that most people take for granted,” she said.

Ferro said his firm, which also operates under the name Liga De Justicia, specializes in representing Long Island’s Latino immigrants. The Bay Shore nonprofit Pronto of Long Island, which provides services to low-income residents, connected 52 families with the law firm for the event that provided toys for an estimated 150 children.

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