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Carrozza gives out toys to kids after gift drive hits new record

Carrozza gives out toys to kids after gift drive hits new record
State Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (l.) and her aide Dave Fischer pose with toys they collected for needy families in Queens. Photo by Anna Gustafson
By Anna Gustafson

Standing amid towering piles of presents in her office last week, state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) said she received more gifts this year than ever before that she will distribute to needy families and hospitalized veterans.

“This is a record-breaking year, which is great because there are so many families in need this year,” Carrozza said Dec. 15 at her Bayside office at 213-33 39th Ave. “People are really sensitive to the increased pressure and economic needs of their neighbors.”

Carrozza and her staff have collected more than 1,000 toys to distribute to a number of organizations that will give them to children throughout the borough, including St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, Briarwood Family Residence, Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Glen Oaks, New York Hospital Queens, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Bayside and Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center in Bellerose.

“With so many families struggling to pay baseline bills, toys for the holidays are an extra they don’t have money for,” Carrozza said.

Constituents who dropped off the presents at Carrozza’s office donated such gifts as board games like checkers and Monopoly, Lego sets and “Star Wars” puzzles.

The Bayside legislator also received items like robes, socks and toiletries for the veterans hospitalized at the St. Albans Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans Home in St. Albans.

“They’ll be thrilled to see they were remembered,” Carrozza said of the veterans, who fought in World War II, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea and Vietnam. “It helps them to not feel isolated. There’s contact with people, festivity.”

Carrozza and 15 students from Holy Cross High School delivered many of the goods for the veterans Friday.

“When you burst into the veterans’ rooms with the gifts and cards from kids, they’re overwhelmed,” Carrozza said.

Constituents from around the borough donated gifts, and students from PS 41 in Bayside, PS 193 in Whitestone and Sacred Heart in Bayside wrote letters to the veterans.

This is the last toy drive Carrozza will hold as an elected official. She has represented the 26th Assembly District for the past 14 years but decided not to run again in November.

The 26th District covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston and Whitestone.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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