BY JOE MARVILLI
‘Tis the season of giving, and two northeast Queens elected officials are doing their parts.
Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) and Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) are sponsoring gift drives for the holiday season, collecting items to give to Queens’ neediest individuals.
Braunstein’s office is collecting donations of sugar-free candy, pajamas, slippers, robes, sweaters, socks, toiletries, puzzles and playing cards, among other objects, all of which should be new. The contributions will support the men and women of the St. Albans Community Living Center of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System and the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans.
“These donations help show our nation’s veterans how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made for us,” Braunstein said. “I am also conducting a toy drive to help Queens families in need. You can participate by collecting unwrapped new toy donations for needy and hospitalized children.”
The deadline for donations to Braunstein’s cause is Dec. 18.
Vallone’s student ambassadors, representing every high school in his district, took charge of his office’s donations for the holiday season. Collaborating with Auburndale Soccer Club and Dwarf-Giraffe Athletic League, they will collect toys for the children of St. Mary’s Healthcare System, located in Bayside.
“Right in our back yard is a place that is a beacon of light for the entire City for children in need and with serious medical conditions,” Vallone said. “I cannot think of a better way to give to those who are in the most need and their families during this holiday season and I thank our local sports organization for joining us in this effort.”
The collection is ongoing until Dec. 8. Community residents who wish to give are encouraged to donate new toys as well as items on the hospital’s registry. You can find the registry online at Babies R’ Us.
“St. Mary’s Kids are facing complex medical challenges and I know that these gifts will put a smile on each child’s face and bring them some holiday cheer. Thank you,” Dr. Edwin Simpser, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, said.
Gifts for Braunstein’s cause can be delivered to his office at 213-33 39th Ave., Suite 238, Dr. William M. Duke’s office at 35-01 202nd St., or the Community Board 11 office at 46-21 Little Neck Pkwy. For further information, call the Assemblyman’s office at (718) 357-3588.
Donations for St. Mary’s can be given to Vallone’s district office, located at 42-40 Bell Blvd., Suite 507.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JoeMarvilli.