Several local businesses and their customers teamed up to make the holiday season bright for local children.
The owners of a local delivery service and an amusement business have teamed up with a Pelham Bay bank and their associates to spread holiday cheer this season to children at Lincoln Hospital’s pediatric ward.
The partners in Day or Night Delivery and 1 Stop Party Rentals, two Pelham Bay/Waterbury-LaSalle-based businesses owned by the same partners, held a holiday toy drive in the weeks leading up to Christmas to benefit children in hospitals, according to owners David Montesino and Giovanni Millan.
The drive netted hundreds of toys, which were transported on Wednesday, December 20 to Lincoln, and which will also be taken to a Manhattan hospital, for distribution to children who cannot be home for the holidays, said Montesino.
The toys were collected from a toy drive party at Olivia’s Restaurant on Saturday, December 20 and over several weeks at a Citibank branch in Pelham Bay at 1766 Crosby Avenue.
Mark Angeli, Citibank branch manager and vice president, said that every year Citibank is committed to giving back and was looking for ways to be instrumental, especially for children at the holidays.
“This year Citi has decided to provide joy, and our way of giving joy was to partner with a client who was doing a toy drive to which we could contribute toys for children,” said Angeli.
When their client told them they were holding the toy drive, the branch stepped in and collected over 100 toys from employees, customers and people who dropped into the bank, said Angeli.
Initially, Angeli asked his employees to bring in toys that they would like to donate. Then, the toys attracted the notice of area businesses and consumer clients.
“Clients asked what the toys were for and found out we were doing this partnership,” said the branch manager. “They are just good people from this community who want to give back and found a nice avenue to do so by coming in when they do there deposits to donate a toy.”
Montesino said that his businesses has given back in a variety of ways, holding fundraisers throughout the year.
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September, his businesses gathered 3,000 pounds of water, milk and women’s toiletries that were sent to the devastated island, he said.
Then in November, they donated 137 turkeys to a food giveaway for Thanksgiving at a Norwood community center that was financed by a Gofun
“This is the first year I am doing the toy drive,” said Montesino. “I started with turkey giveaways, and I saw the reaction I got with the Gofundme page, so that gave me the idea to do the toy drive this year and see how it goes.”
He added: “I just wanted to make somebody’s day and put a smile on their face.”
In addition to the toys collected by Citibank, Montesino created a buzz for the drive through his following on Insta
“We wanted to help this holiday season,” said Millan, who added that the December 20 event amassed about 220 toys.