By Jenna Bagcal
A Queens assemblyman and his constituents once again made the holidays brighter for children and veterans in District 26.
State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein wrapped up the season of giving during his 8th Annual Holiday Gift Drive for veterans and needy and hospitalized children. From the end of November to Dec. 17, Braunstein’s office accepted donations of toys, clothing items, candy and toiletries to be distributed to several local organizations.
“I was overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of my constituents, who helped bring holiday cheer to those in need,” said Braunstein. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our community and our schools for continuing to make these gift drives such a success. Since we received so many donations, we were able to bring smiles to the faces of thousands of needy children, as well as hundreds of hospitalized veterans this holiday season.”
Braunstein also extended his thanks to Community Board 11 and Dr. William M. Duke “for their continuous support for our Holiday Gift Drive.”
The assemblyman reported that they were able to donate thousands of children’s toys and hundreds of items for veterans thanks to the generosity from 16 area schools, numerous civic and senior organizations and several hundred local residents.
Nearly a dozen organizations received toys from the drive, including 4 Kids in Need drive for homeless families, QNS Toy Drive for St. Paul the Apostle Church, QSAC Day School of Whitestone, QSAC Preschool & Early Childhood Center of Douglaston, Ronald McDonald House, Sacred Heart Church Toy Drive, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, Transition Domestic Violence Center and the United States Army.
Braunstein was joined by his staff and students volunteers from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside to hand-deliver gifts for the Veterans’ Gift Drive. The group visited veterans at St. Albans VA Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans Home at St. Albans.