The New Jersey Spartans will complete their holiday toy drive this week when they deliver almost 200 gifts to needy kids in our area. This year’s drive will benefit the Tomorrows Children’s Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center, as well as the St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth.
Using the motto, “On the field we go the extra yard. In the community, we go the extra mile,” the Spartan toy drive organizing group, Big Green, has reached out to potential donors in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The team, which has already exceeded its early goals for collecting toys, is thrilled by the results so far.
“This experience has been extremely rewarding to me,” says Big Green captain, Mike Saporito, “Knowing I can be a part of something that improves the lives of less fortunate children really means a lot to me.”
The team placed boxes in a number of towns across the state, including Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Parlin and Long Branch. The group also went to Hoboken, where they organized an open bar fundraiser at the West Five Supper Club. Members of the Spartan staff came out to support the cause and raised more than $100 to purchase more toys.
“I am really proud of the job that our team did,” Big Green’s Mike Weinflash says, “I’m so happy that we are going to be able to provide toys for that many children this Christmas.”
After a busy month of soliciting donations, the members of Big Green are anxious to make their delivery.
“If you are able to bring a smile to even one child’s face, the experience would be rewarding,” says Big Green member, Dan Ennis, “but we are going to be bringing smiles to many faces including our own, which gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I did something good.”
In addition to the toys and money collected so far, Big Green hopes to receive some monetary contributions from corporate donors in the next few days. Be sure to check Spartan TV in the next couple of weeks for coverage of this week’s toy distribution.
By Gordon Thompson