"Toys for Joys" expect nearly 4000 children will come to their toy giveaway event on December 20th. The number dwarfs any from previous years, another indication that needs are greater during this time of recession in the States.
Emma Sapong of the Buffalo News introduces us to a parent who is seeking help from the toy drive.
Christmas was on its way, and Tracey Mullen was unprepared. The mother of two was jobless with no means to buy gifts for her daughters and stepgrandson.
“It was really a concern,” said Mullen, a Buffalo resident. “When you are not working, you just don’t feel like you are part of anything. It’s hard to explain, but you feel awful.”
Mullen turned to FATHERS, an East Side community group, for help. She and her children attended the organization’s holiday bash, “Toys for Joy,” and received donated gifts to go under their Christmas tree.
“FATHERS were a big help; I was able to get presents for my children,” she recalled. “Not just toys for my grandson, but gifts for a teenager and a 12-year-old.”
Mullen’s financial condition has improved since that Christmas six years ago, but you’ll still find her at the Christmas party sponsored by Fathers Armed Together to Help, Educate, Restore and Save, one of the organizations participating in The Buffalo News Neediest Fund.
“I’m a committed volunteer because I know it makes a difference,” she said. “It’s just a really joyous event. I see the joy in the faces of the children, I truly do.”