Toys4Tots: The Livingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS) Leaders Toys4Tots annual community campaign was a great success again this year! These gifts of assortment of games, books, soft toys, dolls, action figures, art and painting supplies etc… were donated by the kind generosity of the Livingston community. This collaborative project was spearheaded by LYCS Leaders and included the Heritage Middle School Student Council, and staff at the Town Hall, Senior Community Center, Monmouth Court Community Center, YMCA of Essex County, Livingston Public Library, and the West Essex Tribune’s office. These wonderful gifts brought holiday cheer to less fortunate children in Essex County.
The toys were distributed by the Mental Health Association of Essex County (MHAEC) to children who were most in need. Several different programs were able to take advantage of Livingston generosity, and used the toys and games to brighten up the holidays for many children. These included children served in the agency’s unified care management program and children from the Latino Outreach Program. Gifts were delivered to children seeking shelter with their homeless families, and to children engaged in mental health treatment. Whenever possible, gifts for the children were given to their moms and dads who in turn became a special “Santa” and delivered their gifts to their own children, helping to strengthen family bonds. In a time of economic difficulties and high unemployment, LYCS Leaders and the Livingston community displayed humanity, kindness and wonderful generosity, making this a holiday season to remember.
Shoe Collection Drive: Building on a successful shoe drive for charity last year when they lived in Secaucus, the Bansal family, now residing in Livingston, is hoping to exceed the 1200 pairs of shoes that they collected. “As a family, we feel it is important to contribute to the community, and help others in need,” said Avika, a student at Riker Hill Elementary, and member of LYCS Leaders. Avika got the idea for the shoe collection drive from reading stories of kids in leadership positions who were doing similar activities that benefited others. The shoes will be distributed to more than 400 local shelters and orphanages by the John Wesley Methodist Church, in East Rutherford, NJ.
Hugs from Home
– Valentine Edition: LYCS Peer to Peer students were busy last week sorting the Hugs from Home – Valentine Edition Community Collection for Troops serving in Afghanistan. Students from Harrison School and senior residents at CareOne in Livingston made Valentine Cards to accompany the gifts. This was truly a community event spearheaded by LYCS Leaders, it brought together young and old in the season of love and friendship. In total 18 boxes weighing 377 obs 3 oz were sent overseas. These packages, donated by the generosity of the Livingston community is a small token of our appreciation to those who sacrifice themselves for our freedom, and who are far from home and family.
Livingston Youth and Community Services (LYCS) Leaders and senior residents at CareOne in Livingston joined forces to make Valentine’s Day a special occasion for Troops serving in Afghanistan. “We all had a great time making Valentine Cards,” said Patty Arnold, LYCS Leader. “The senior residents not only made cards for the Troops, but also made them for family and friends. The students really did a wonderful job helping the residents.” The Valentine Cards will be added to the Livingston community Hugs from Home campaign which was spearheaded by LYCS Leaders.
– Thanksgiving Holiday: Was a great success with over 1,000 goodie bags filled with candy and assorted toiletries, books and games packed in 29 boxes, weighing 879 lbs 2oz was shipped to Troops serving in Afghanistan. Thank you to Livingston residents for your generosity. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!