The Montefiore Children’s Hospital has received a thoughtful toy donation right in time for Christmas.
With a simple goal of helping needy children this holiday season, Anthony’s Flower Farm at 3240 E. Tremont Avenue began a toy drive right before Thanksgiving to collect as many toys as possible to help kids in the Bronx.
The owners of the florist, Robert Jaen and Joe Imperia, as well as members of local community groups, began the collection on Monday, November 7 and announced that they would be delivering the donations to terminally ill children at the Montefiore Children’s Hospital, the blind and visually impaired of VISIONS, and the disabled children of TOTS.
On Wednesday, December 7, Jaen, Imperia, volunteers, and two members of the United States Marine Corps, visited Montefiore and delivered the first assortment of gifts.
“The response that we have received since the beginning of the toy drive has been absolutely unbelievable,” Jean said. “All it takes is a little push and you really will see how many good-hearted people are out there willing to help children in need. We’re up to somewhere between 800 and 1,000 toys so far, but we want people to keep making their donations at the florist because there is never enough.”
Catherine Verow, supervisor of the Childlife Department at the Montefiore Children’s Hospital, greeted the volunteers and helped collect the new toys.
Verow said she was contacted by Jaen and Imperia after Thanksgiving and was pleased to learn that a small Bronx business was willing to make such a large contribution. She said all of the kids and their families are always appreciative when others are thinking about them.
“It was certainly a pleasant surprise when we were notified about this donation. It’s great to know that there are people thinking about the children,” Verow said. “To be able to get your whole community involved in a collection of toys for kids that they don’t know is heartwarming. The staff is always grateful for these donations, but it means the most to the kids.”
Although the toys were dropped off well before Christmas, Verow said that they will all be wrapped up and distributed by Santa Claus when he visits the hospital on Christmas Day.
Anthony’s Flower Farm will be making stops at VISIONS and TOTS the week before Christmas. Since there were so manytoys collected, Jaen said they will continue to distribute to needy children before Christmas, even if it means going out on Christmas Eve.
“Worst case scenario, if there are still plenty of toys to give out, I will personally go out myself to make sure that every gift finds a home,” Jaen said.
Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.