Holiday gift wrapping brings cheer to Throggs Neck

The spirit of the holidays are alive in Throggs Neck this year after this weekend’s community gift wrapping drive.

A community gift wrapping drive took place at the Throggs Neck Community Church on Friday, December 13 with many from the nieghborhood pitching in to do their part.

Community Board 10 member Angela Torres said the event only started last year when the crazy idea to do a toy drive popped into her head.

She started the project by working with a local shelter, Crystal’s Place. From there word spread from friend to friend, then to family and members of her church.

What started out as a small effort to spread some holiday cheer has already grown into an awesome event, Torres said.

She said in the beginning it was just herself, her husband (begrudgingly), her two kids and six other people who spent an evening together wrapping gifts in her own home.

Surprisingly, the toy drive received enough toys to not only supply the one shelter, but two others as well. A shelter in Westchester Square and another in Hunts Point.

This year, however, was a different story, with over 100 volunteers attending the holiday drive at 2730 Bruckner Boulevard.

Accent Care of NY and Alliance Health were major toy contributors, while local businesses like Crosstown Diner and Paisano Pizzeria fed the volunteers.

Clinical director Mike Arenella of Accent Care of NY and Alliance Health said between their four offices, around 300 gifts were collected this year and will be distributed among four different shelters throughout the Bronx.

“We brought the whole community together,” Arenella said. “We really worked together to make this a successful event.”

Other affiliates involved in the drive included School Board District 8, P.S. 304, P.S. 382 and Westchester United Methodist Women.

Most organizations provided wrapping paper, tape, and scissors to make the holiday wrapping complete.

CB 10, School District 8, P.S. 304, P.S. 382 and Throggs Neck Community Church are drop off points with the toys being distributed on Saturday, December 21.

“Everyone’s giving a little piece. That’s so awesome,” Torres said.

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