In what has become an annual tradition at Easter Seals New York Bronx Child Development Center, the New York State Fraternal Order of Police gave out holiday gifts to disabled and special needs kids, ages two to five.
The event, which took place at Easter Seals Bronx location at 2433 E. Tremont Avenue on Friday, December 19, brought along Santa Claus and his helpers which were played by a police officers. There was a sing along of holiday songs in both English and Spanish and Santa gave out gifts to each individual child by name as each class came up to visit with Santa Claus one after the other.
NYS FOP continued its tradition of giving and leadership with the donation of over 200 toys. NYS FOP banded together in collecting toys all over the state, knowing that because of the current economic climate this holiday season would be an especially trying time.
Mitchell Schorr, chairman of Easter Seals of New York City Regional Board discussed the vital need for toys this holiday season.
“The New York State Fraternal Order of Police has always been a champion of giving to Easter Seals New York,” Schorr said. “The toys will lift the hearts and spirits of the children attending our Child Development Center.”
Easter Seals runs the pre-K programs at the center with the goal of ultimately placing the young children into mainstream, integrated classrooms in the public school system or other institutions of learning when they reach the Kindergarten. This is the fifth year that Easter Seals and NYS FOP have teamed up in the Bronx.
“The New York State Fraternal Order of Police recognize that many children will not receive toys this year,” said Michael Essig, second vice-president of NYS FOP and regional board member for Easter Seals of New York. “We are proud to support Easter Seals New York, and we want to give back to our community as much as possible.”
In fact, two months ago, the NYS FOP donated $10,000 to the Bronx Outreach Development Center, as well as to other Easter Seals locations throughout the state.
Easter Seals New York’s Bronx Childhood Development Center near Westchester Square and Castle Hill Avenue operates at full capacity for children with disabilities and other special needs, where it provides essential early education services to 147 students. The school also services the community at large, reaching a total of nearly 500 families and children last year.
“This event builds the children’s self esteem and brings them into contact with the larger community,” said John McGrath, senior vice-president for childhood development at Easter Seals New York. “They get to meet board members, police officers, and Santa – and let’s face it, what kid doesn’t love Santa?”