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Carrozza’s toy drives bring joy to boro kids

State Assemblywoman Ann−Margaret Carrozza (D−Bayside) said drives led by her office during the past two months have provided toys for as many as 1,000 borough children and clothing for 600 veterans.

But Carrozza, who operated the drive with Bayside’s Allergy & Asthma Family Care Center, said some of the people who received items from the drive pointed to the difficulties borough residents were facing amid the current economic decline.

“Some people who donated in previous drives were recipients this year,” she said. “I think it’s a sign of people being in tight circumstances and I think no one at this time should be ashamed to ask for help. We’re all in this together.”

Carrozza has been leading the toy drive for the past 13 years and began the drive for veterans 16 years ago while she was in law school.

Items were dropped off both at the Allergy Center on Bell Boulevard in Bayside and at Carrozza’s office. Toys were taken door−to−door to borough residents, while clothing for veterans was taken to the St. Albans Community Living Center, of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, and the New York State Nursing Home.

Carrozza said her office collected a variety of items for borough children during the toy drive, including Xboxes, Barbies and clothing for dolls.

The toys were delivered to homes in Bayside, Queens Village, St. Albans and a number of other Queens neighborhoods.

Veterans were given pajamas, slippers, playing cards, cardigan sweaters and other clothing, Carrozza said.

She said the drive received about the same number of items this year as in the past few years despite persistent economic problems at the city and state level.

Carrozza said her Valentines for Veterans drive will begin in the new year and run through mid−February. She said borough children who are interested in taking part in the drive should produce homemade cards or poems for veterans, which her office will then deliver.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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