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Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens hosts annual toy distribution event at Astoria church

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Santa shows off some of the toys available at an annual toy distribution hosted by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Astoria. The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, bishop of Brooklyn, helped parents shop for their children right before the Christmas holiday on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens)

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens distributed toys to families during Santa’s Toy Shop at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Astoria on Thursday, Dec. 22. 

Now in its 12th year, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens served over 2,000 area children from families facing hardships. At each of Santa’s Toy Shops, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens use a model that gives parents the dignity to pick and choose age-appropriate gifts for their children. Gift cards and food vouchers were also provided. 

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens served over 2,000 children during three toy distributions. Over 1,300 children were served on Dec. 17 and 18 at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church in Flatbush, Brooklyn. An additional 700 children were served on Dec. 22 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located at 2325 Newtown Ave. 
(From l. to r.) Richard Slizeski, senior vice president for Mission, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens; Reverend Monsignor Cuong M. Pham, pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church; Debbie Hampson, senior director Community Outreach Services with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens; The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn; and Reverend Monsignor Alfred P. LoPinto, president and chief executive officer, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens)

The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, joined Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens for the toy distribution at the Astoria church. 

“Today is a special treat being here among all the volunteers and staff of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, who are meeting people in a time of need with such joy. What’s happening here today, and has been over the last couple of weeks, reflects the generosity of people from all over Brooklyn and Queens,” Brennan said. “It is through the efforts of Catholic Charities that these donations have been passed along with dignity to these families who have turned to the Church for assistance this Christmas.”

Volunteers from the Carpenters Union, DeSales Media, and other community volunteers handed out the presents at both churches. The gift cards were purchased using donations to the agency through an annual fundraising event held in November at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach. This year, $97,000 was raised at An Evening of Jazz & Cocktails. 

Volunteers (personal elves) with Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens assist parents in “shopping for Christmas gifts” at Santa’s Toy Shop, an annual toy distribution held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Astoria on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens)

 

 

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