June 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Thanksnukkah Toy Drive Underway

Can you imagine the Shoprite circular for Thanksgiving week this year? Turkeys and chocolate Chanukah Gelt, frozen latkes and bread stuffing mixes all on sale the same week. As we score up our points for that Thanksgiving turkey discount, we also have to focus on purchasing oil for the chanukiot and of course the Bergen County Chanukah Toy Drive. Not since 1899 has Chanukah started so early, and it will not occur again for another 77,798 years. So this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to help us meet the needs and fill the lives of thousands going through challenging times with a gift to lift their spirits, even before the turkey has a chance to thaw out!

The 21st Bergen County Chanukah Toy Drive is underway through Thursday, November 14th, collecting new, unopened, unwrapped gifts, in 47 locations across the Metro NY/NJ area. The drive distributes to 17 local organizations, as well as Israel and the Ukraine. Recipients include Ohel, Chai Lifeline, Otsar, Hackensack Hospital/Tomorrow’s Children, JFS of Bergen County and of Clifton/Passaic, Project Ezra, Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County, Sharsheret, Bris Avrohom, Shaare Zedek Hospital Israel, Bears from Bergenfield, Tikvah Children’s Home/Ukraine, Shelter Our Sisters, and more. This is the largest Chanukah Toy Drive in the area, and it has the widest reach!

A unique community-wide project, the Toy Drive enables different tzedakot to devote their funding to therapies and other overheads instead of buying gifts from their budgets.

Every member of the Jewish community is invited to work together to ensure the success of this amazing endeavor. Although we accept contributions through Thursday, November 13th at all of our 47 sites, please keep in mind Sunday, November 3rd, when the toy drive will collect through the Bergen County Mitzvah day at designated sites.

There are a variety of ways to donate to the drive:

All day schools in Bergen County, along with many temples and synagogues, have drop-off sites (www.bctoydrive.com for addresses).

If your schedule is too busy to go shopping, you can easily order and send via Amazon.com.

Bar/Bar Mitzvah suggestions:

Create centerpieces from games or gifts that can be contributed to the Toy Drive after the affair.

Request that guests bring Lego or another gift to drop off at the event.

Include as a special chesed activity sorting and packing at the Toy Drive’s central location.

Donation of duplicate gifts to the drive so that others can benefit from their kindness.

Thousands of individuals benefit by this drive. Truckloads of gifts are loaded and picked up by the various organizations. Please note that although there are many young recipients, there are teens and older members of group homes as well who benefit from the drive.

Great gift ideas: baby dolls and strollers, games (i.e., Monopoly, Set, Blokus, Risk, Stratego, Chess, Memory, Candy Land, Apples to Apples, ASAP, Sandwich, Othello, Chutes and Ladders, Bananagrams) crafts, action figures, cars and tracks, building toys, play food, play dishes, Lego, Puzzles, books, gift certificates (Target, Old Navy, Loews Movie Theater), iPods, mp3 players, Playdough sets, travel size games, sports equipment (basketballs, footballs, team jerseys). For older teens: Pocketbooks, watches, jewelry, make-up kits, hat and scarf sets, intricate craft sets, wallets, gift cards.

Some businesses have offered discounts. Both Judaica House and Zoldans in Teaneck have generously offered a 10% discount on non-sale items purchased for the Toy Drive.  Items can be purchased in person or charged over the phone and put aside in their collection sites. Modells also offers a discount with a special coupon available on our site at www.bctoydrive.com. You can help fulfill your scrip requirement by purchasing gift certificates through the local day schools.

This project is run by over 100 volunteers. Individuals, high school age and older, are welcomed to help sort and pack once donations are dropped off at the central site. Chesed hours can be applied.

The main contact will be Joy Sklar who has volunteered and worked with the toy drive for many years. If you have any questions please contact her at Joysklar_gmail.com, or visit the website at www.bctoydrive.com . Please remember our deadline is November 14th to ensure that sorting and delivery will be done before Chanukah!

The Bergen County Chanukah Toy Drive is a wonderful opportunity for the Jewish community at large to help bring the light of Chanukah to thousands. As always, Tizku L’mitzvot in advance!

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