Chamber to donate 30,000 toys for holidays

Pictured during the donation to the Bronx Chamber Toy Drive of 30,000 toys from Bronx Toys on Monday, November 28 are (l-r) Edwin Pabon and Gabrielle Rodriguez, Chamber employees; Michael Fowles of Duane Reade; Chamber CEO and president Lenny Caro; Ramanand Achaibar of Duane Reade, Duane Reade fleet manager Charles Haywood; and Calvin Dunstan of Duane Reade.
Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is putting 30,000 smiles on the faces of children this year thanks to a generous donation from Bronx Toys.

The Hutchinson Metro Center, headquarters of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, was the scene of the massive donation of toys from Bronx Toys on Monday, November 28. They arrived in four Duane Reade trucks donated by the company to pickup the toys from warehouses in Queens and New Jersey.

The toys, which bear the words NYPD and FDNY, is an unprecedented donation in the history of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and possibly the borough, said Chamber CEO Lenny Caro.

“I don’t think that there has ever been a donation like this in the history of the borough,” Caro said. “We are going to be putting 30,000 smiles on the faces of our children.”

Caro thanked the generosity of Bronx Toys president Bill Long, who sponsored the World Police and Fire games and whose father was shot in the line of duty as a police officer in Queens.

“That is why all of the toys say either FDNY or NYPD,” Caro said. “We want the kids to understand that when they see a police officer, they are not an enemy, but a friend.”

The chamber is going to distribute the toys to various community groups, elected officials and non-profits, including Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Bronx YMCA, Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, among others, Caro said. The toys include basketballs, soccer balls, fire trucks, police cars, and helicopters, Caro stated.

They will be distributed over the coming weeks from a warehouse at the Hutchinson Metro Center, where they were brought. Director of distribution, Michael Fowles, said, “It makes you proud to work for a company like Duane Reade in partnership with other wonderful organizations like the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and Bronx Toys.”

Photos from the drop off will be shown to 550 Duane Reade employees at their Queens distribution center on television screens, Fowles said.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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