61° Good Evening
61° Good Evening
Long IslandSuffolk

Long Island families get holiday help at Hauppauge toy drive

Sanaa Colin, 9, of Brentwood sits with Santa

Sanaa Colin, 9, of Brentwood sits with Santa at the law offices of Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar PC in Hauppauge on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Snow and rain didn’t stop dozens of Long Island families from heading to the law offices of Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar PC in Hauppauge on Saturday for its annual free toy drive.

Organizers estimated 100 families attended the six-hour drive, which gave out toys to local immigrant children and kids in need.

Families picked out a variety of free toys for their children, ranging from musical toys, Candy Land play sets and Care Bears to headphones, Bluetooth speakers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures and more.

Children also took pictures with Santa Claus, drank hot chocolate and indulged in sweets, while families entered hourly toy raffles for the chance to win special prizes.

“All of this really helps you out when you’re struggling during the holidays,” said Margaret Tyghter of Bay Shore.

She won an Atari video game system for her son Joshua Tyghter, 11, who was at home, and took home several other toys.

The program gave away toys to more than 30 families and 100 children when it began in 2013. This year, with help from corporate sponsors and Jericho High School, the drive collected 1,500 toys for 100 families and 400 children, said William Ferro, managing partner of the firm.

“It’s great to be able to give back to the community,” he said. “The turnout’s been great.”

Arely Mendez, 29, of Bay Shore was happy her daughter Katherine Gomez, 9, was taking home a toy set of doctor’s tools. When asked if she wanted to be a doctor, Katherine flashed a tiny smile and nodded happily.

Dora Santo of Brentwood smiled as her children Yerik, 5, Ariel, 10, and Arely Santo, 15, took pictures with Santa and excitedly clutched the toys they were taking home.

“They will be happy for the holidays, so I’m happy,” Santo said.

Chase Serota, 17, of Jericho, senior class co-president at Jericho High School, found a different type of joy as he volunteered with other classmates for the toy drive. His school donated more than 250 toys.

“This drive was special because you don’t always get to see people’s reactions,” he said. “Here, you can see people really appreciated the toys; we can see their kids being happy.”

Latest Long Island News