The Salvation Army has only a few days left to distribute toys to families in need so they can be wrapped and placed under family trees in time for Christmas morning.
âEveryone has been so grateful and excited because they know their kids will have something to open this Christmas,â said Iris Andujar, a Toy for Joy volunteer with the Salvation Army in Holyoke.
Salvation Army units in Greenfield, Holyoke and Springfield are preparing packages of books and toys for thousands of children whose families have signed up for the annual Toy for Joy campaign.
All the while, donors have shared generous contributions to ensure this year’s gift costs are covered.
Today’s list of contributions is preceded by a $ 5,000 donation from the Hampden County Correctional Center Inmate Commissary Fund and a $ 2,500 donation from the Sarat Ford Lincoln dealership in Agawam . The goal is to raise $ 150,000 by Christmas Eve; just over $ 28,000 is still needed to reach the goal.
Toy for Joy is in its 99th year of providing toys and books to children in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties who would otherwise be denied the joys of Christmas for reasons beyond their control. The campaign is a collaborative effort of The Salvation Army with The Republican, El Pueblo Latino and MassLive, as well as media partners of Reminders Publishing and The Westfield News.
Pride Stores and Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas J. Cocchi are among the community partners supporting this year’s effort. This is the third year that Cocchi has participated in the holiday campaign, while Pride Stores has mobilized its customers to support the effort for many years.
As it has done for decades, the Sheriff’s Department donated $ 5,000 from the Commissary Fund, which comes from sales of coffee, snacks, envelopes and other purchases made by inmates in the prisons. County of Ludlow and Chicopee.
âI am proud to make this annual donation from the Inmate Commissioner’s Fund as part of our annual partnership with the Toy for Joy campaign,â said Cocchi. âToo many families struggle to make ends meet, and it becomes even more difficult this time of year. Toy for Joy directly helps these families and makes children smile. And that’s what vacations are for me; helping people.”
Jack Sarat, primary dealer of Sarat Ford Lincoln in Agawam as well as Ford dealers in Northampton and Enfield, presented the $ 2,500 donation in person to the Republican on Tuesday.
âThis is certainly a most laudable cause, and apart from the family this season is all about taking care of the children at Christmas,â said Sarat. “Things have been going well for us, and when they are, you should give something back.”
Sarat knows all about the joys experienced by children at Christmas. He has three sons, now all adults and each responsible for a Ford dealership.
âMany children do not – and cannot – entertain at Christmas. Anything we donate will hopefully help some of these kids over the holidays, âsaid Sarat. âYou see what’s going on around us, and a lot of people are in need. We want our donation to encourage other businesses, as well as individuals, to get involved. If they have had a decent year, they can help.
Next year will be Jack Sarat’s 50th in the business. The 92-year-old Sarat dealership covers the vast majority of auto sales history and almost as old as Toy for Joy.
Dealers survived the pandemic in good shape, according to Sarat. He said his personal interest in supporting local charitable causes dates back decades and encouraged others to find satisfaction in helping others.
âEvery amount helps,â he said. “Lots of people who give smaller amounts, or $ 100 or $ 200 – they all go up.”
“What Mr. Sarat says couldn’t be truer,” said Cynthia G. Simison, editor-in-chief of The Republican. âEvery gift to Toy for Joy counts, regardless of size. Everyone counts as the donor who can honor a loved one or can just give in the hope that a child somewhere nearby will be smiling on Christmas morning. We are grateful every day for every gift given to Toy for Joy.
The donations, which are featured daily in The Republican and on MassLive, are used directly to cover the costs of toys and books for children.
Each child receives a book, a toy, and a game or play-type toy. Donations can be mailed with the attached coupon to The Republican, 1860 Main St., Springfield, MA 01103, or made online at SalvationArmyMA.org/ToyForJoyDonation.
Here is the list of the latest contributions:
Happy Holidays from the Hampden County Jail Inmate Commissary Fund $ 5,000
Seasonal greetings from Sarat Ford Lincoln and our employees $ 2,500
Souvenir of “Papa” Lou Cignoli, who loved children and Christmas $ 500
In loving memory of my dear husband Bill. Love, Jocie $ 25
Merry Christmas from Peg and Peter $ 50
In loving memory of Shirley Falleti $ 25
In loving memory of Don and Mary Blakesley $ 200
Merry Christmas from the Hamel family from Granby $ 25
In memory of George Ditomassi, “The Toy Man” $ 1,000
To bless a child $ 50
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Klofas and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Schab $ 100
Denise $ 20
In memory of Ernie, who loved Christmas and his family. Love, from Patty, Jill, Sherry, Dawn, Joey, Shaun, Charlotte, Calvin and Emmy $ 100
In Memory of Scott Ring $ 25
Louis $ 50
Merry Christmas Meaney and Grandpa Trombly. We love and miss you both, Chris, Matt, Justin and Lindsey $ 50
In memory of JoAnne and Hal. $ 25 so deeply missed
Anonymous $ 100
In memory of the CÃ´tÃ© and Scherpa family $ 100
Merry Christmas from Lisa and Michael $ 100
Ron and Barbara $ 20
In memory of Paul M. Kalill $ 200
In memory of grandfather and grandmother Navona. Merry Christmas $ 200
In memory of my mother and father and my brother Donation $ 25
Thank you St. Jude, BL $ 75
Merry Christmas from Richard $ 25
In memory of my mom and dad. Merry Christmas from Paul $ 20
In memory of Raymond of his wife Mary $ 20
In loving memory of my husband Ray de Sue $ 50
In honor of all of Ward-Homer and Frank’s deceased parents $ 100
Skip and Jane $ 50
Merry Christmas and God Bless you $ 15
In memory of Rob and Walt, Jerry and Crystal $ 100
In memory of C. Finnell, E. Faust, M. Brown and H. Lamagdeline $ 200
In memory of my parents Hazel and Joseph Phillips $ 10
Hugs and blessings to all needy children $ 100
Tom and Janine $ 50
Remembering mom and dad who made Ann’s Christmas so memorable $ 25
Anonymous $ 20
Let this gift delight a child on Thomas’ Christmas Day $ 30
In memory of all the deceased family members of Kevin and Sue $ 100
In memory of Natala Keefe of the Picky McQuade family $ 50
Anonymous $ 100
In loving memory of my late husband Phillip d’Adele $ 200
Bradys de Montgomery $ 100
In thanksgiving for all of our blessings. Merry Christmas from Bob and Marie $ 100
In Memory of Bill Fitzgerald $ 25
In memory of the O’Connor and O’Neil families $ 50
In memory of GeneviÃ¨ve Vaz de Lori $ 20
In memory of our mother Maria R., Mary and Laura $ 200
In Memory of Our Daughter Debbie from Mom and Dad $ 15
Blessings and hope to all of Janet’s children $ 40
For Carl and Alice, who loved children $ 25
To remember deceased family and friends as well as pets $ 120
Joy to children in honor of our grandchildren, Gr Dz $ 100
In memory of my grandmother Veronica Phillips $ 10
Patricia $ 100
Thank you St. Jude for answered prayers, LR $ 20
In memory of his son Mike, his partner Bob and his brother Mark de Dottie $ 30
God bless the children. Merry Christmas with waving cocks and wet kisses, Benson and Chanel $ 75
In loving memory of Andrea, Santina and Frances Rizzo $ 50
In memory of Art, Helen and Mark LePine. Love, your family $ 100
In honor of Dick Curran with love from the Easy Readers Book Club $ 100
In memory of those close to the Pyers family $ 25
In memory of Connie and Claire Lynch $ 250
In loving memory of Lynn and her dogs. $ 100
In memory of the Annette, Joe and Mimi family $ 50
In Honor of Laura & Ken’s Sister Mary McGeer $ 100
Wishing everyone good health and happiness this holiday season, Donna and Dave $ 100
No child should be without it. $ 100
In memory of Ian Shay $ 50
Merry Christmas, in memory of Manser and Tootsie Hapcock $ 100
Laura $ 100
Merry Christmas everyone from Steve and Madeline. $ 100
In loving memory of Lorraine Reusch. Love, Theo 250 $
In loving memory of Helen M. Hurley. Love, Theo 250 $
From Lena and Dominic $ 100
In memory of our parents Jim and Doris Smith $ 25
In memory of Mary Ellen Brown Kuzmeski, Andy and Helen Brown, Jessie Brown, Jim Brown and Dave and Pat Brown $ 50
In memory of Donnie Fontaine, July 15, 2001 $ 150
Richard $ 10
In loving memory of Gramps, Al, Opa and Mamie des Meuniers $ 75
Rosemary $ 50
In memory of Harold (Drahma) Dukes, of Russell. 25 $
Richard $ 100
In Memory of Ryan Gilrein $ 50
Merry Christmas from Ryann, Taylor and Gavin Meunier $ 1,000
Marie S. $ 25
Ãliane $ 50
In memory of Eric Dostie $ 100
In honor of a good life lived and good family memories. $ 100
In Memory of Donna Cipriani $ 50
Merry Christmas from Grant and Mary $ 50
In loving memory of Brice and Susan Draper from Kathy $ 100
Paula $ 25
Remembering the good old days at Heatbath Corp. Happy Holidays $ 25
Ed and Deb $ 50
In Memory of Russ and Bounce Dale $ 50
Marie $ 200
In Honor of Don Mullen $ 50
In memory of Edward and Lillian Noonan $ 100
Claudie $ 100
Sandrine $ 50
In memory of GMD, CND, AWD of GEF with much love $ 30
In Memory of My Dad, Sam Thresher, Merry Christmas from Wayne and Pat $ 100
Goodbye from Captain Doll $ 100
Brian $ 100
In Memory of Brindle Kazlauskas by Serena Fuller $ 25
Merry Christmas. Love, the Murray family, The O’Connell and the Vigneau-Bitt $ 10
Stephanie $ 100
Received $ 18,060
Total to date $ 121,965
Still need $ 28,035