Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) helped spread hope and happiness by joining with communities, parishes and other caring individuals to give to children and families in need this holiday season. With generous donations of toys, gift cards and other monetary donations as well as appreciated time from staff and volunteers, CCBQ was able to provide nearly 3,000 toys and numerous gift cards of assorted values to children and families throughout Brooklyn and Queens.
As usual, CCBQ received many requests for toys and gifts for the holidays from families in need. Prior to Christmas, CCBQ devoted two days to distributing the gifts at our central locations in Downtown Brooklyn and in Astoria, Queens to allow families to pick up toys for their children and have the gifts in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gift cards allowed families to have the pleasure of purchasing the gifts for their children themselves. At the sites, children and families were also entertained by Santa, who made an early visit to listen to the children’s wish lists and for photo ops.
The toy distributions were made possible in part by parish and individual donations as well as through our annual Employee Christmas Dollar Drive and our collaboration with The Hance Family Foundation. The Employee Christmas Dollar Drive is an agency-wide initiative which asks staff and their friends to contribute one dollar (or more) towards the purchase of gift cards for parents and their children. The 2015 Employee Christmas Dollar raised $6,000, half of which was raised by residents at our housing facilities. The Hance Family Foundation, which provides innovative, self-esteem educational programming for children in need, collected nearly 1,000 toys throughout New York and New Jersey locations. Representatives and volunteers from the foundation hand-delivered 300 toys to our PS 106 after-school program in Bushwick, Brooklyn and an additional 300 toys to our Dr. Lutas Center in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn on Christmas Eve. On Three Kings Day, an additional 67 families received gifts to celebrate the holidays.
On behalf of our children and families, we thank everyone who helped this holiday in the true spirit of Christmas – making a difference in the lives of our neighbors. See our Thank You video.