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The spirit of Christmas present

For many, Christmas is all but forgotten on New Year’s Eve, but not for Dr. Robert J. Mittman of Bayside. He is still collecting and distributing toys for less fortunate children from his offices on Bell Boulevard, as he has for the last 10 years and more.
Mittman “grew up in Bayside” and attended P.S. 203, M.S. 67, Cardozo High School and Queens College on his way to becoming a doctor, treating “Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.” He gives most of the credit for his getting involved to Assemblymember Ann-Margaret Carrozza. “She got me involved with ‘Toys for Tots’ and (clothing) drives,” he said.
His office manager gives him more credit. “He really cares,” said Tess Mittman (“Just call me ‘Tess’ ”) who should know better than anyone - she’s his mother. “He gets letters from patients all the time, and the one thing they all say is how caring he is.”
In addition to the “Toys for Tots” signature toy drive of the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserve, Mittman’s office is a pick-up point for Catholic Medical Center, some homeless shelters and other charities. “(Councilmember) Hiram Monserrate’s office distributes some toys. There are a lot of kids in need over in his district,” he said.
Mittman decided to split his toy drive because, “The marines give toys all over and there are pockets of need right here in Queens.” He pointed out that the mountain of toys in the corner of his waiting room at 38-21 Bell Boulevard was awaiting pickup by Marines that day.
“There’s a pile of toys in the back that will be picked up soon,” the good doctor said, admitting that a number of the toys would probably be given for “Three Kings Day” or Kwanzaa. “That’s okay - the spirit is the same. I’m from Queens, we’re collecting toys in Queens - I want them to go to children in Queens,” he said.

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