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Photo courtesy of Braunstein's office
Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein is pictured on Valentine’s Day at the St. Albans VA Community Living Center with his staff and students and faculty from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.

Queens veterans got a lot of love this Valentine’s Day following record-breaking donations to a yearly gift drive.

Organizers of the 24th Annual Valentines for Vets Gift Drive, including Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, the Law Offices of Ann-Margaret Carrozza and Community Board 11, collected thousands of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing items, playing cards, puzzles and toiletries in honor of hospitalized veterans.

This year, 40 schools, civic organizations, libraries, Girl Scout troops and residents across northeast Queens donated gifts for the cause. On Valentine’s Day, Braunstein, his staff and students and faculty from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School brought the gifts to the men and women at St. Albans VA Community Living Center and the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated, especially our local schools, for their overwhelming support for this year’s Valentines for Vets Gift Drive. These donations, which were the most received in the 24-year history of our community’s Valentines for Vets program, helped to brighten the day of hundreds of veterans by showing that we care about them and appreciate their sacrifices,” said Braunstein. “Additionally, I want to thank Community Board 11 for its participation in the gift drive.”

As the gift drive’s founder, Carrozza started the yearly event as a college student to show more appreciation for the sacrifices veterans make for their country. The former assemblywoman continued and expanded upon the gift drive during her time in office.

“For the 24th year, we asked the residents of Northeast Queens to consider making a hospitalized veteran their Valentine, and they answered that appeal once again by generously donating thousands of items to our hospitalized heroes,” Carrozza said.

The following is a list of schools and community organizations that contributed to this year’s drive:

  • Bayside High School Key Club
  • Bayside Historical Society
  • Bayside Public Library
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
  • Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy
  • Fresh Meadows Public Library
  • Girl Scout Troop 4587
  • Grace Episcopal Conron Girl Scout Troop
  • Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Academy
  • IS 25
  • Jefferson Democratic Club
  • MS 158
  • Miracle Ear
  • MS 294 – Bell Academy
  • New York-Presbyterian Queens/Cancer Services Program
  • Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy
  • Park Shore Country Day Camp/Preschool
  • PS 32
  • PS 41
  • PS 79
  • PS 94
  • PS 107
  • PS 130
  • PS 159
  • PS 169
  • PS 174
  • PS 184
  • PS 193
  • PS 209
  • PS 811
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Academy
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of College Point
  • School District 25 Pre-K Center of Whitestone
  • School District 30 Pre-K Center
  • Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin, & Spratt, LLP
  • St. Luke School
  • St. Mel’s Catholic Academy
  • St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Seniors
  • St. Robert Bellarmine Girl Scout Troop 4279
  • Townsend Harris High School
  • William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School

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