The Trailblazer

Project Paterson Toy Drive

Picture taken by Jenna Golub

Picture taken by Jenna Golub

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Every year, Project Paterson collects new toys to gift to children ages 1-12 whose families cannot afford to get them presents for the holidays. The Project Paterson Toy Drive runs from now until December 14 in order to help these children have a special holiday season.

Last year, 1,565 toys were collected for the Toy Drive, and the club hopes to be able to surpass that total this year. For this to happen, the entire school needs to pitch in and donate gifts by dropping them off in the large collection boxes located in classrooms around the school. The toys should be new but do not have to be wrapped when they are donated.

Senior Sarah Stupak, who has attended multiple Project Paterson trips, said, “I love going on the Project Paterson trips, and it made me realize that the toys we donate really do make a difference in their lives. I’m excited to see all their happy faces when they get their gifts.”

Students are able to go to Paterson, New Jersey on “wrapping trips” to wrap the donated gifts where they’ll be distributed to children in the city. These gifts make the holidays a little more special for children who are not as privileged as we are.  

“When you go on the field trips you realize how much this club actually affects the kids in Paterson,” sophomore Francesca Fontana said. “I like donating to the Toy Drive because it really does make a difference to these kids when they receive a present from us.”

If students want to help out with the Toy Drive, there are many opportunities to volunteer in the club. Students can help bring in toys, gather and count the toys from the collection boxes, and attend the wrapping trips. In addition, student volunteers are needed before school to hold the “Project Paterson Toy Drive” banner to raise more awareness for this special cause.

Sophomore Nikhil Indugula, a member of Project Paterson, said, “I think it’s a great thing how Hills makes a big effort to give back during the holiday season. The enormous amount of toys we donate every year really says something about the students at Hills.”

The club needs the support of the entire school, as in years past, in order to collect as many toys as possible to continue the tradition of helping the students in need.

Kaitlyn Mahaffey, the teacher in charge of Project Paterson, is “amazed by how the Pascack Hills community rallies to show their support for the Toy Drive.” The Toy Drive is a great way to give back to the community and create a special holiday season for over 1,000 children in Paterson.

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