Bay Ridge

Tis the season for toy drives

November 13, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of the Domestic Disorder Auto Club of Brooklyn and their families and friends are hoping the toy drive results in a lot of donations. Photo courtesy of the Auto Club
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As Brooklyn residents were busy making Thanksgiving plans, two groups made up of car aficionados and horse lovers are thinking ahead to Christmas.

Members of the Domestic Disorder Auto Club of Brooklyn and the Metropolitan Equestrian Team are co-sponsoring a Christmas toy drive with the goal of donating the toys to the children of military service members at the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge.

The toy drive is taking place from now until Dec. 3 and residents are asked to drop off unwrapped toys to the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy at 7000 Shore Parkway. The Metropolitan Equestrian Team is affiliated with the Riding Academy.

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Residents who can’t make the drive out to the Riding Academy can arrange for a private pickup, according to Adam DeVito, secretary of the Domestic Disorder Auto Club. He suggested that residents call him at 347-824-4416 or Jane DaCosta of the Equestrian Team at 718-487-9007 to make arrangements. “We’ll come to you to pick up the toys,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle.

The auto club members decided to sponsor a toy drive to help make Christmas and Hanukkah a little brighter for children in need, DeVito said. “We just wanted to find a way to give back,” he said

DaCosta, the executive director and head trainer of the equestrian team, heard about the toy drive and offered to have the team co-sponsor the effort. “She is a friend of one of our members,” DeVito said.

The two groups decided to donate the toys to the army base.

The auto club’s members have done charitable projects in the past. Last year, the club hosted a block party to raise money for St. Peter Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst. The block party included a car show.

The car club was formed three years ago. “We’re an all-American car club. We’re a bunch of guys who love American-made cars. We like to get together to work on our cars,” De Vito said.

The car club-equestrian team effort is just one of several toy drives taking place in Southwest Brooklyn this year.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) announced that his district offices at 7408 Fifth Ave. and 3604 Quentin Road will serve as drop-off points for toy drives being conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Turning Point Brooklyn.

Clothing items are also being accepted for donation, according to Golden, who said the toys and clothes will be distributed to families in need of assistance.

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program annually collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes the toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

Turning Point Brooklyn provides programs designed to empower under-served individuals to help them make positive changes in their lives.

“I am honored to partner with the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve and Turning Point Brooklyn this holiday season to help bring some happiness and comfort to families in need here in Brooklyn,” Golden said. “Our community is extremely generous and always responds to help our neighbors who are less fortunate.”

The toy and clothing drive is taking place from now until Dec. 11. For more information, call Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.


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