By Emily Drooby
Valerie Ferguson is out of work this Christmas. Ferguson, shared: “Financially I’m strapped, but God is good and we able to be blessed so I came to take advantage.”
Ferguson, just one of many who attended Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens toy drive on Wednesday. The unique event gave parents and grandparents the chance to pick out an item for each of their children or grandchildren.
Debbie Hampson of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, explained, “I think it much more meaningful that a parent picks out the gift for their child, then us picking out a gift, they know their child and they know what their child likes and what their child has.”
Ferguson, who picked out toys for four of her six grandchildren, explained events like this restore her faith in humanity.
Ferguson, said: “America is starting to lose compassion for others so when you find stuff like this it lets you know, that somebody is thinking about us.”
After a recipient’s number was called volunteers who acted as personal shopper elves helped to pick out that perfect gift.
Event volunteer Susan Galligan, explained, “They love being helped, they love the idea of shopping, they love that they’re finding just sort-of the perfect thing for their kid.”
Recipients walked away with one toy per child and at least a $25 TD bank card purchased by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens through target donations and grants.
Toy donations came from local businesses, parishes and schools throughout the diocese of Brooklyn.
Recipient, Nancy Cortes, explained the event made her Christmas a little brighter; “It helped me a lot because I’ve got my grandkids living with me…My tree was kinda empty but thanks to Catholic Charities I’m here today, I’m getting my gifts.”
A similar event will be held on Thursday in Queens. Available spots for that event have been filled.