Twp. starts holiday toy drive

Unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any firehouse or library


EDISON – Edison Township is looking for wooden blocks and rubber balls, heroic action figures and pretty dolls, stuffed animals and little cars – any toy, really, for the township’s annual holiday toy drive.

The drive, which officially kicked off on Nov. 29 at Edison Firehouse No. 2, collects toys to distribute to needy families throughout the area. The collection is a township-wide endeavor, with cooperation from the municipal government, fire department, library, local churches and others. Mayor Jun Choi said he wants to continue the momentum gained from what he said was the success of last year’s toy drive, which resulted in over 1,000 toys collected.

“The holiday season is a special time to celebrate with family and friends, and this is a great opportunity to give to children who otherwise might not even receive gift,” Choi said.

People can drop off unwrapped toys at any of the township’s six firehouses or three public libraries. Donations will be accepted up to Dec. 14. The next day, the community organization Hands of Hope will distribute the items to needy children at the St. James Episcopal Church between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Toys left over from that event will be donated to the Edison Housing Authority, which will give them to children living in the area’s public housing.

Fire Chief Norman Jenson noted that no matter where one lives, there should be a drop-off point nearby.

“There is a firehouse near you, no matter where you live,” said Jenson.

Library director Judy Mansbach emphasized that donated toys can make a great difference in the lives of needy families who may not be able to afford presents on their own this holiday season.

“Some people tell me that the toys they get here are the only toys their kids will be getting all year. … It’s so sad,” Mansbach said.

“The Edison Public Library is pleased to once again be a drop-off point,” she added later.

Council President Charles Tomaro, who is also helping to coordinate the effort, said that this is the fourth year the township has been conducting the toy drive, with last year being the most successful so far. He urged residents to donate toys such as games or stuffed animals.

“I don’t know a kid in the world who doesn’t love a stuffed animal,” Tomaro said.