A heap of toys sat at the front of the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders on Monday night, ready to be donated to underprivileged students at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School.
This year marks the third holiday season that members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association have collected toys for children at the Riverside school. The group has also used about $250 of its membership dues to purchase more than a dozen winter coats that it will also give to children in need.
“What’s great about it is the toys stay right here in the community—they don’t go anywhere else,” Brad Bender, the president of the civic association, said during the group’s monthly meeting on Monday. “That’s the beauty of it.”
Last year the association collected about 85 items, and Mr. Bender said he hopes to meet or exceed that number this year.
“The people who have the least are giving the most,” he said, referring to the generosity of FRNCA members.
He added that it was his goal when he became president of the group to give more to the community through such initiatives, as well as a school supply drive. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” he told the civic group members gathered at the center on Monday night.
Debra Rodgers, the principal of the Phillips Avenue Elementary School, said she and the teachers at the school distribute the donations to those students that need them most as part of the school’s Giving Tree program.
“It’s just a wonderful outpouring of generosity throughout the school year—not just the holidays,” Ms. Rodgers said, of FRNCA’s support. “They are a phone call away for us as far as being a resource to help all of our children.”